The Ostrich

There are people being killed by the police

Yet there are more good police officers than them,
There are black snipers on the roof tops
Yet there are more good black people than them,

There are corporations perpetrating crimes
Against the poor,
Against the environment,
Against mankind,
Yet there are more good companies than them,
Employing people,
Producing the things we need,
Introducing innovative answers.

There are homeless people begging
For money,
For food,
For attention
Yet these same homeless people
Are educated,
Are skilled,
Are each one a unique individual.

There are privileged white people
Perpetuating the system
Through their prejudice,
Through their ignorance,
Through their oblivion.

And perhaps I’m one of these

But I watch the things
That happen in our world,
The oppressed rising up
Clenching their fists
And declaring they will endure no more.

And my heart is with them
With their struggle
To have what I have,
I want to give it to them.

But I want to live in a world
Where, in order for them to have plenty,
I don’t have to feel lack.
Where there is enough for all.
And indeed,
There is plenty now.

It is not a lack of goods,
Of food,
Of opportunity,
That keeps so many in poverty.

It is not a lack,
But abundance
That has created this untenable circumstance
This unsustainable place,
In which humankind finds itself
Again.

It is the abundance of fear,
The cultivation of panic,
The willingness to participate
In a system of ‘us’ and ‘them’

A system in which if some have
Then some others must have not.

An abundance of belief
That if one person does harm
Then all people of that group
Are harmful.
Belief that every white person
Or black person
Or homeless person,
Every CEO,
And politician,
And rich man,

Hold the same ideals,
The same prejudices,
The same wounds,
The same intent.

And there are slogans
Telling me that
Complacency is harmful,
That I am just as guilty
Unless I do something
Unless I fight,

But fighting is what got us here,
If I fight,
Then I must fight against something
Or someone
And ‘against’
Inherently means there is an ‘us’
And there is a ‘them’
And if I am successful,
The ‘us’ will win
And the ‘them’ will surely lose.

One on top,
One on bottom,
Again.

And I can’t decide
If I am an ‘us’ or a ‘them’
It seems everyone has a point
And everyone is mistaken.
And I cannot see
A clear thing to do
To make it all stop

So I’ll be over here,
A little away from the struggle,
With my head in the sand just a bit longer,
Contemplating.

While my heart breaks.

©2016 Annette Meserve

 

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