Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future disolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
Between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
that passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out of the window forever.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters
and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the ground of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
Naomi Shihab Nye