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I have been two people, maybe more,
devised ways to meander through the
lives of those I’ve touched.

These encounters have not all been pleasant.
I have been defender, protector, anger’s liaison,
pained deflector of the sanctimonious rhetoric
of the shameless.

I have been lover, consort, friend, mentor,
comforter and comforted, stood strong in
the face of weakness, my own and others.

I carry the beatings of life’s whipping post,
lashes applied in my youth, consequences
of lasher’s lack of conscience.

I have become a divided house that
must stand alone.  I have cowered
courageously, stood defiant in cowardice.

I am the hard muscled sentinel, 
sharp eyed searcher, scanning
for the signs of evil’s stealth.

I am the hands that hold a baby’s breath,
the eyes that see not what might be, but what is,
the voice that hums a gentle song of peace.

I am the steadying shoulder for the old to lean on,
the unknown snow shoveler in the night,
the song of comfort in an old man’s dreams.

“I have looked at life from both sides”,
enjoyed loves clouds and rain,
I have been two people, maybe more.

John G. Lawless
contest – Both Sides Now
sponsor – Alfred Vassallo



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  1. Date: 7/23/2014 8:19:00 PM

    John, it's a very profound write, I like it and wish you my best for the contest. R K
  1. Date: 7/23/2014 7:23:00 PM

    gosh, I would say maybe MORE than two people. Some of these lines were truly awesome and powerful. Especially liked the one : cowered courageously, etc. The irony of it!
  1. Date: 7/23/2014 7:13:00 PM

    John, very well written poem and creative entry for the contest!
  1. Date: 7/23/2014 5:48:00 PM

    Very nice, John, my friend! I struggled with this one.. gl in the contest.. Hugs.. Arlene