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“Often, people try to control discussion through a single word. It sounds logical, until we take a deeper look.” Bob Mueller wrote his poem, “Respect,” to challenge a word oft-repeated, and sometimes exploited. Bob helped found the new Mount Pleasant PFLAG chapter and is active in Iowa Welcomes its Immigrant Neighbors (WINS). He retired to Mount Pleasant, just east of Iowa City, from Chicago’s surburbs, where he lived for more than 26 years with his late partner, Todd.

bob mueller
Bob Mueller, author
by Bob Mueller

Respect can come in many forms.
And in no form at all.

It can be defensive.
It can be reflective.
It can complicate life.
It can simplify life.

We think we know what it means.
But do we?

Bob’s poem is the second “Reader Submission” in our new Self-Publish feature. To submit your poem, photos, artwork, flash fiction, uplifting mini-essay, or video, click here.