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.


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