Conversation at dinner

She advocates random acts of kindness
to counteract the random acts
of cruelty hereabouts.

How random, someone asks?
How many acts will casual violence
acknowledge as a counter force?

A monthly tithe to whomever asks first;
purchase of all the hawker’s black bags
on the closest street corner;
money in bright envelopes
for tired men waiting for jobs
at the edge of the arterial road;
a home cooked meal for the addict
in the broken house?
Written thanks to the policeman,
shop assistant, driver,
who smiled or waved you on?
Praise for a forgotten singer
singing a forgotten song?

I say: if red is cruelty
then kindness is also a colour:
brown as a warm swim in a farm dam,
green as an open cage,
white as a flag between warring groups
and blue as the mythic “Silent Night”
shared in no man’s land
before morning’s return to trenches and carnage.