Roughly Translated

The best and truest friends

Get all the hard jobs

 

Like the buddy that takes your keys

Because driving home in your condition

Is more likely to put you in perdition

Or the hospital

Than safe at home in your own bed

Roughly translated, "I love you"

 

Or the companion who before then

Says the bravest words of his life:

"It's time to step away"

Roughly translated into "I love you"

 

That one pesterous mom or dad

Who says "You need to get good grades"

And when you ask why, 

The answer is always

"So you can go to college

So you can have a career"

And even if you disagree,

Roughly translated, that's "I love you"

 

Perhaps it's your proselytizing neighbour

Constantly knocking

Always asking, "Do you know Jesus?"

Or "Do you know Allah?"

And whether or not you ever say yes,

Rougly translated, they're saying "I love you"

 

Maybe it's the beggar with a sign

And of the thousands of cars that drive by

And the millions of people that walk on his corner

There is only the one who spares him the change

Only one who, roughly translated, is saying "I love you"

 

Often, it's the man who runs the orphanage

Who gives up his time, his sleep, his ambitions

To care for those who are most vulnerable

To clothe them, to feed them, to shelter them

Roughly translated, "I love you"

 

Or your soldier who marches to certain doom

Trudges through desert and jungle, 

Endures hellfire and molten lead

The spits and cursing of his countrymen

Roughly translated, his service says "I love you"

 

Or the soldier of the enemy 

Who trudges also through desert and jungle,

Endures our hellfire and molten lead

The spits and cursing of his countrymen

Roughly translated, his service says "I love them"

 

Maybe it's the Christ

Who gave up divinity to tread among your ancestors

Endured the cat-o-nines and crucifixion

The spits and cursing of all mankind

Just to redeem their wrongdoings

That they might have eternal paradise

Explicitly translated, this means "I love you"

 

There are millions of ways to say

"I love you"

And to truly mean it

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
My country
Our world

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