memorial for a brilliant woman

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Advent 1-7 Compassion

I have been desensitized

My interest in your trouble wanes
watching doe-eyed children, sad animals,
all victims of wars and man-made insults.
Last night an entire half an hour devoted
to "so many babies born with cleft palate
we can’t possibly help them all"!

The need is greater than I can grasp.
My own sister lives in a mess in Nevada,
I can’t help even one of you, much less her,
Sixty cents, a dime, my spare change
in return for a tote bag or picture album,
my name on another spam mailing list.

There must be an agency or church to vet,
to make money work instead of entertain.
Even the pope carries only a few sandwiches,
shoes, blankets. Rachel wept. Jesus wept.
The poor are always with us, always,
palms out, eyes cast down. Waiting.

I want passion to come as a gift, a spark
begun with a question, hope to be created
from apathy, a flame lighting dark corners
where someone cowers against cruelty, anger,
helpless in the face of power and selfishness.
I want to care. I want you to come with me.

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