I can cope with loved onesí miseries once removed
but find up-close-and-personal to be too cruel.
I think face-to-face confession is overrated
when the bombshell dropped could be as well stated
in a muffled tone from distant place by phone,
giving me some time at first to fret alone.
I find that after two or three sleepless dawns
I usually can settle down and carry on
as if nothing is different and my heartís intact
and I can help the one whose present life is cracked.
I know that itís wrong to make it all about me
when someone else is doing first-hand suffering,
but since honestyís the point in this manifesto,
call first. I promise Iíll eventually show.

Mary Beth Hines

If you have any thoughts on this poem, 
Mary Beth Hines would be pleased to hear them.