There is something holding me back
Perhaps a nagging feeling in my head?
Every time I see a reason to offer help
I tell myself I would jump
At the opportunity.
But it is as if there were weights tied around my ankles
A boulder upon my back
The cat must’ve really gotten my tongue
Because I could not open my mouth a crack.
Why was it that when I spoke to the old man
On the streets of downtown New Orleans
I could not lift my arm
To give him the food
I had left over?
His need was clear
I saw him yearning for my SNACK
Of leftover pancakes that I did not eat,
But I did not turn back.
It only took me a moment
To feel instant shame.
One small instance
Haunts me to this day.
A perfect example
Of having an opportunity,
Fate in my hands.
My shame weighed more heavily
Than any feeling I have ever had.
I will not be that bystander
As a man lay on the ground in pain
That did not call 911
That did not do anything
I will not let his struggle be in vain
I will jump.
I will act.
I held me back, and
I can let go.