Was there ever a time
you didn’t judge?
Approached a foreign-looking man,
shook hands, ignored
the sandy feel
of his palm against yours,
his callous, knotty knuckles
irritating your sweet skin
smoothed by shea butter
and shorter work hours?

What did you do?
Did you smile for real?
Did you try not to stare?
Did you find your lost teaspoon
of humanity and offer it to a stranger,
knowing he may never say thank you?
He might not know how, you know.
Or maybe he just doesn’t want to.
So what. His choice.

I’m betting you’ve never been able
to overlook the smell.
I’m betting you look over “others”
the way you look at me.

Too bad judging begets judging.
Because I’m way taller than you.
Even when I’m barefoot.


Katherine Gotthardt

Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, has been writing, editing and teaching for more than twenty years. For the past ten years, she has focused on content development and content marketing. Besides being published in dozens of journals, Katherine has authored six books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water, Bury Me Under a Lilac and Late April. She has been nominated twice for Poet Laureate of Prince William County, VA and is Editor in Chief of Prince William Living magazine.

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