Respect is not mere etiquette,
a bow or a certain posture
that ushers you in and out.
It is not a well-measured smile
that one’s face wears before the world.
It is not some florid morning or evening greeting
that bequeaths contentment
with a flattering or complementary word.
It is not a kiss stamped on one’s hand,
the indelible imprint of the gallant.
It is not a bunch of flowers, which are bound to wilt.
It is a deed that does not demand a favour in return.
It does not keep you waiting in suspense
to show the other’s ascendance .
It is lending an ear to your troubles when no one is around.
It is a word that does not disparage the essence you uphold.
It sweetens the sour and curtails the monotone.
It is courtesy reincarnated as support.
It is a type of reverence for your innermost thoughts.
It forgives your faults.
Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with
a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have
appeared in multiple venues including The Curlew, The Pennsylvania
Literary Journal, The Ink Pantry, A New Ulster, Adelaide Literary
Magazine, Down in the Dirt, Mad Swirl.