if I were kindness (kindness starts small)
by Tricia Marcella Cimera

if i were kindness
i’d start
nothing big,
nothing grand,
nothing like
conquering all the hate
in all the world —
just the thought
would tire me out
before i even began.
no, i’d start
if i were kindness
i’d be captain
of the grade school
soccer/kickball/baseball team
and i would pick
the skinny/slow/fat/
hopeless kid
and i’d pick that kid
for my team,
before the others,
for no reason.
you know that kid —
the kid that maybe you
once were,
the kid that i once was
years ago.
and anxious, waiting
on a grassy field
to hear my name

IMAGE: “On the Bench” by Hanne Lore Koehler. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: First published in the Buddhist Poetry Review, Fall 2015, as “kindness starts small,” I wrote this poem over 15 years ago. Truthfully, although I’ve been grown up for many years, I’ve never forgotten the feeling of anxiously waiting (and waiting) to hear my name finally (begrudgingly) called when teams for sports were being chosen. It’s a very particular kind of feeling. If I could, I’d banish it — for myself and for everyone who has ever felt it.


Tricia Marcella Cimera
will forever be an obsessed reader and lover of words. Look for her work in these diverse places: Buddhist Poetry Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Foliate Oak, Fox Adoption, Hedgerow, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Mad Swirl, Silver Birch Press, Stepping Stones, Yellow Chair Review, and elsewhere. She has a micro collection of water-themed poems called The Sea and a River on the Origami Poems Project website. Tricia believes there’s no place like her own backyard and has traveled the world (including Graceland). She resides with her husband and family of animals in Illinois/in a town called St. Charles/by a river named Fox. She grew up in Germany, Italy, Massachusetts, and Iran before her family moved back to Illinois from whence they came.

AUTHOR PHOTO: At TheosoFEST, The Theosophical Society, Wheaton, IL 2008.