I looked away, shaking

A deep ache in the center of my chest

The tears were hot and heavy behind my eyes

But they would not fall

 

The next day,

My neighbors went off to the office

And the store

And on with their lives

 

They fellowshipped in church

They prayed

They loved

 

In the days to come,

Families were torn apart

As airports became frontlines

And borders extended outward

 

Rivers wept

And the ground shook

 

People marched with hate

People marched with hate for the hate

 

Screens, airwaves, and pages flooded

With a barrage of scandals and lies

 

The entire world watched

as our country became a mockery of itself

 

After my neighbors filled ovals with ink

And slid pieces of paper through machines

 

Yet, each day, we still greet one another with smiles

What a cruel culture we share,

That we hurt strangers and neighbors alike

Doing our civic duty