The Right Thing

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2013
From the collection Growing Up Too Fast

Doing the right thing is easy,
but it isn’t much of a thing.
You get a little bold, a little brave,
but then, oh, you have to do the thing
and it’s done.

Nobody says a thing about it
or cries or stares or anything.
No-one shouts about how you’re strong or smart:
they just get back to their everyday nothing
and feel good.

But you don’t feel a thing.
Maybe just a sort of itching
like a tingling telling you something boring
as people forget whatever kind of right thing
you just did.

The worst thing is
when even you don’t notice.
You just did it on instinct, smiling, whistling,
twiddling your thumbs and not thinking anything
really at all.

That’s why I do the wrong thing.

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