Poem of the Week, by Sean Thomas Dougherty


Mr. Kraft and his family lived in the town of 300 I grew up five miles north of. One day when I was about nine, he and my mother stood talking in his driveway. He nodded to me at one point and said quietly to my mother, “She’s got it.”

She, meaning me. Got it, as in. . . I don’t know what. But those three words have seen me through every rough patch of my entire life. Every awful conversation, every time someone has tried to tear me down, and also in those dark and frequent moments when I think, You’re a failure, Alison. 

I remember how still I stood in Mr. Kraft’s driveway that day, how something lifted from my shoulders, how the world suddenly seemed bigger and kinder. I thought of him again when I read this poem. Wherever you are now, Mr. Kraft, in whatever far-off universe, know how you softened the world for a small girl that day, and how she never forgot your words.


Why Bother, by Sean Thomas Dougherty

Because right now there is someone
out there with
a wound in the exact shape
of your words.


For more information about Sean Thomas Dougherty, please check out his website.

Twitter and Instagram: @alisonmcgheewriter 


  1. April Halprin Wayland · March 29, 2020

    I I know the feeling. I know those strangers in my life who have changed me. The older man who walked by at a brisk pace, swinging his hands in front of him and behind, clapping each time they met, a vigorous somehow enchanting exercise.
    When I’m hiking now, the dogs galloping ahead, I’ll do the same thing, and I always think of him. He gave me a gift he never even knew he’d wrapped for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alisonmcghee · March 29, 2020

      April, I love this anecdote. We are all connected, whether we know it or not. XO

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Diane .Gottlieb · March 29, 2020

    Alison, I was first introduced to this poem a little over a year ago, and I remember exactly where I was when I read because it had such a great impact on me. Thank you for the reminder to “bother.” I am so glad Mr. Kraft bothered too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • alisonmcghee · March 29, 2020

      Diane, I so relate to your feelings upon reading this poem. I feel exactly the same way. I hope you’re safe and healthy. XO


  3. William Boden · March 29, 2020

    Really love this. We all got it, don’t we? Had never heard of this poet till today. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. alisonmcghee · March 30, 2020

    William, yes, we do all have it! I’m so glad you loved the poem. He’s new to me as well.


  5. Dennis Debe · April 1, 2020

    Alison, I had to remember to look you up (A bit of a challenge for a scattered mind like mine.) as your posts had not been coming through to my FB. This one is a beautiful ditty of a poem. I love so many of the pieces you find and choose to share. This one was just a “WOW!” to read, so quick and concise! A simple memory popped into my head! When I was in eighth-grade and sitting at the dining room table doing my homework after arriving home after basketball practice. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Father staring at me from his easy chair in the living room. While laughing, I asked, “What are you doing?” He, looking over the top of his glasses, simply replied, “You are one handsome and smart young athlete.” Fifty-seven years later, it still brings a smile. Thanks, McGhee

    Liked by 2 people

  6. alisonmcghee · April 1, 2020

    Dennis, this is just so beautiful. What an incredible father you must have had. I love him. Let me know if you want me to add you to my poem of the week email list – happy to do so. Cheers to you and your dad!


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