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Raymond A. Foss Poems
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Adverse Effect by Raymond A. Foss
A pent-up question,
crushed his swagger,
confidence, bravado,
the friendly banter,
in the cool of reflection,
for a moment, a telling moment,
because she asked the question
none of us can answer,
when a decision of the law,
an interpretation, a position taken
can have catastrophic effect,
permanent, unalterable, death.

She asked if suicide and death
would qualify as an adverse effect,
of the education they offered her?
Would that have been enough,
to tip the scales of their argument?

He paused and so did we, waiting,
for an answer that couldn’t come.
For the arguments of the advocates,
the parsing of the words, of the law,
the parts of the regulations,
are far removed from the stark reality
that she faced. Far removed from
the fear she felt, heard in the asking
of the question to him.

It was a teachable moment;
thank you for the lesson.

July 27, 2007 19:29
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