expiration date

there is no place
where love is unwelcome
– not the vision-clouding nor
the conscience-assuaging variety –
but rather
love that embodies sacrifice
bold engagement
grit
grace
groundedness

there is no end
no boundary
no roadblock
prohibiting ample hope
copious amounts of laughter
extravagant gratitude
generous gestures
wave upon wave of kindness

there is no expiration date
on empathy
no time in which
compassion is no longer needed
no encounter that
does not invite patience
require attentiveness
solicit thought
demand of us
every possible shred of humanity

but on this day
i serve notice
that every element
which serves to debase
degrade
debilitate
incite hate
fuel resentment
divide neighbor from neighbor
will be evicted

on this day
fear of the other
inferiority to the other
superiority over the other
comparison with the other
retreat from the other
radicalization because of the other
threat against the other
has reached
it’s expiration date

from this day forward
i choose
where to serve notice
and what will remain
complacency is out
consciousness is in
combativeness is replaced
with collaboration
callousness with
courage

© Julia Penner-Zook, 2016
Photo credit: origin unknown

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