Touch a Heart

Touch a Heart

She was a good woman, about thirty-five
Worked down at Denny’s with a pretty smile
Had three kids that she loved more than life
When everyone was around
They were all she talked about
That, and maybe a little politics
Then one night when we were alone in the restaurant
She said to me, “John, I’m toasted
I think I need a doctor
Been on pills in years past
My life is a wreck and I don’t know
If I’m gonna make it
I feel so alone
I need to reach out and touch a heart”

I could see the pain on her face
I smiled and touched her shoulder
‘Said, “Barb, I’ve got some news for you
Everyone is toasted
If you only knew the messes everyone gets in
You’d see you’re not so alone
The life you hear about from everyone
Is just smoke and mirrors”

Everyone has relatives they can’t hardly put up with
Everyone has had trouble with their spouse
Everyone’s got bills they can’t afford
Everyone is one paycheck from the street
Everyone has hassles every day
It doesn’t matter who you are
King of the world or homeless
Jennifer Lopez or holed up in a half-way house
We all are trying one way or another
To just make due

Then there’s the private inner life
Our brainboxes got
It’s only got three modes—
One that says
‘Everything’s shit and I’m all wrong’
And one that says
‘Everything’s fine, my toes are tappin’
And then there’s day when you say
‘Wahoo! damn! I’m happy!’
Barb, everyone is like you
And I tell you what
When you’re in ‘Everything’s shit’ mode
God almighty, things look fucked up!

Barb, here’s what I do
I just keep in mind
My attitude affects the way I see things
And nothing is hardly ever quite as bad
As it might seem
I tell myself no matter how messed up it gets
I’ll find a way through
It might take awhile
But good times always, always follow the bad
And when the days are hardest
Reach out and touch a heart
Barb smiled, suddenly happier
“I just did” she said

Dewey Dirks


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