Discussion of a small squabble between far relatives,
fortunately now resolved, reminded me of Bob Eberth's great poem.
Sometimes it's hard to say what you mean in a way that the
listener perceives what you intended. Other times it's hard to hear in a
manner that you comprehend what the speaker wants to convey. Both result
in needless misunderstanding and heartache.
Tickling the Porcupine
by Bob Eberth
5/31 - 6/5/98
“How can you tickle a porcupine’s
Without getting quills in your
Our conversations as of late,
Are turning into sparring
With each of us,
Throwing and dodging verbal jabs and
We do a constant dance of lunge and
With arguments or icy
Our only means of
Way deep in the very core of your
Somebody’s hurt you.
You’ve built up walls,
And play a shell game with your
And each time we speak,
I feel . . .
tickling the porcupine.
Reprinted by permission, headed "Sometimes
communication can be so hard."
This work falls subject to U.S. Copyright