What if understanding is a light
we glimpse beyond the thorny thicket
of difficult conversation? What if polite banter
won’t get us there, and even civil discourse
keeps us here in our old meadow of safety
and ignorance? What if it takes a few bruises
and scratches to reach that light? What if
you and I need to wade in together, talking
recklessly—not silent, not shouting,
but fierce in listening, saying How is it
for you? Tell me about that. I want
to know what I never knew.
I need your suffering to erase
my denial, and my pain
to illuminate your path.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Written by Kim Stafford, in reflection of SAGE’s Citizenship Conversation at Rosewood Initiative