Worn Tread

Replacing old tires makes
Me think about those I know
Who easily replace people,
After all, there are plenty of
People in the world
To meet and befriend in a lifetime.

But perhaps, we grow stronger when
what we have come here to learn
comes through the folks
We often take for granted,
Those we now know
Even better than we might have wished.
Endured their imperfections,
Witnessed their shortcomings,
Pointed out the parsley in their teeth,
The open fly, the wrinkled collar.
Called their bluffs, felt their pain,
Laughed at their youthful naiveté.
Maybe we can only learn about
Ourselves when we persist,
Run along side, hang in there
With them, our people.
As we reflect in their failures and successes
We learn because
We are not made of rubber.

Where do those old tires go anyway?
Piled in mounds south of Modesto
Waiting for the chance to be recycled,
Waiting like the people we throw away,
Who, once as perfect as the new people we meet,
Wonder how they found themselves
Laying atop the heap of old tires
Ready to be shredded or burned
When our use for them diminishes.

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