New Poem: This is a Picture

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I remember the first time I saw this photo. I thought “this is terrible, but maybe this is just what we need to finally get people to act.” I was naive, it is a flaw of mine. Despite my bitching, and my general cantankerousness I want to believe the best of people. Now we have in the highest administrative office of our government a man eager to make things worse, and backers, far too many backers, who are urging him on. Maybe we all need to really see this photo, with our eyes wide open, for the first time.

This is a Picture

This is a picture.

It is a picture of a child.

It is a picture of a dead child.

It is a picture of a dead child because
room and food were scarce.

It is a picture of a dead child because
we could not be bothered to pay attention.

It is a picture of a dead child because
our morality ends at our borders.

It is a picture of a dead child because
our myth is more believable than theirs.

It is a picture of a dead child because
someone’s stock went up a point.

It is a picture of a dead child because
we arm our enemies and then act surprised.

It is a picture of a dead child because
compassion costs more than identity.

It is a picture of a dead child because
order always pays chaos no matter how hard we try.

It is a picture of a dead child because
we fail to see what is shared and we fail to see what is not

It is a picture of a dead child because
we all take pride in how well we kill.

It is a picture of a dead child because
learning is too bothersome for most.

It is a picture of a dead child because
he shared a faith that he barely knew with a mad man.

It is a picture of a dead child because
he did not share a faith he would never know with other mad men.

It is a picture of a dead child because
we honestly believe we should keep our friends close but our enemies closer

It is a picture of a dead child because
there can only be one empire at a time… apparently.

It is a picture of a dead child because
“them” rolls more easily off the tongue than “us.”

It is a picture of a dead child because
too few can be bothered to stand up and ask.

It is a picture of a dead child because
someone thought it would be a good idea.

It is a picture of a dead child because
someone knew otherwise but did not care.

It is a picture of a dead child because
there is a “right way” to change countries.

It is a picture of a dead child because
that “right way” only matters when you are not the same as me.

It is a picture of a dead child because
for some choosing a leader is a popularity contest.

It is a picture of a dead child because
we have to “support the troops.”

It is a picture of a dead child because
at least it wasn’t yours.

It is a picture of a dead child because
we move mainly by fear not love.

It is a picture of a dead child because
there is always a profit in that.

It is a picture of a dead child because
long ago someone had a fight.

It is a picture of a dead child because
right now someone is still fighting it.

It is a picture of a dead child because
“hope” isn’t worth a damn without that “change.”

It is a picture of a dead child because
as soon as he could walk someone named him “enemy.”

It is a picture of a dead child because
it hurts too much to see.

It is a picture of a dead child because
truth doesn’t equal ratings.

It is a picture of a dead child because
obfuscation always does.

It is a picture of a dead child because
someone thought it would be quicker.

It is a picture of a dead child because
if we don’t fight them over there we will fight them over here.

It is a picture of a dead child because
“these colors don’t run” unless it is from a mirror.

It is a picture of a dead child because
there is no reason why.

It is just a picture of a dead child.

It is a picture
of
a
child.

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