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




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