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​Your sleeve is caught 

on barbed wire.  

You can try to wrest it free  

in anxious, impulsive, 

defensive frustration, 

your shirt sure to tear 

as you wrench it away, 

perhaps your arm 

bloodied as well. 

Or you can calmly 

cease all movement, 

and then 


take a step back

to undo yourself. 

What are the barbs 

that catch you? 

What are the barbs

that might snag you

into conflict? 

Instead of the impulsive, 

wrenching reaction, 

can you take 

the care-ful step back 

and undo your self? 

Then conflict 

takes on a different character, 

and sometimes 

ceases to exist at all. 


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