Useful Anger

A good anger swallowed
clots the blood
to slime
—Marge Piercy

But what is to be done with it,
this anger that dare not be swallowed?

Should it be diluted with denial, cooled with indifference?
Should it be sweetened with good intentions,
softened with lies?
Should it be spewed out red hot over searing tongues,
scorching the guilty and innocent alike?

What’s to be done with it,
this anger that dare not be swallowed?

Don’t dilute it, deny it, or cool it.
Don’t sweeten it or soften it.
But, pause for a moment.

Could you hold it before your eyes
examine it with your heart and mind?
Could you hold it
then touch it to your belly
that place where your soul rests?
Could you let it enter there knowing it is the part of you
that needs to be treated kindly
that needs to be listened to
that needs to be honored?

For it has the power to save you,
to save us all.

About the Author

Stephen M. Shick

Stephen Shick is the founding director of the Unitarian Universalist Peace Network and former director of U.S. programs for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. A lifelong peace activist, he is senior minister at the Unitarian Church of Marlborough and Hudson in Hudson, Massachusetts....

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