I cry more than I used to,
……..about those hungry and destitute,
……..driven into torturous perils,
……..risking all for scant hope of survival
children alone, afraid of
war, neglect, poverty, loss of home,
still unable to frame the words,
yet choked by invisible strangleholds.
I weep more than ever for people hated
……..simply for the color of their skin,
……..the conviction of their heart,
……..the level of their competencies
for all caught, vice-grip-like,
in social disparity, mere pawns –
chess pieces – subject to
unbridled narcissism and greed.
I shed more tears than I used to
…….about dogs – cooped up – caged alone,
…….worse still, used for cruel sport,
…….or confined by metal chain
about marine life perishing in polluted seas
forests at risk, resources exploited,
water tainted, oil spilled, nighttime’s splendor
erased by light from torrid flame.
I’m grieved much more than I used to be,
…….by people believing
…….insidious lies of those bent
…….on forcing the vulnerable into servitude
women raped, the elderly shunned,
tribes disregarded, victims suffocated,
humans shackled, innocents gunned down,
rights revoked – a sinister Russian roulette.
But do not weep for me,
for one must choose between compassion
or bitter cynicism, which blames victim,
refusing to comprehend, denying culpability.
Only tears make it possible
to see in the dark, for they shield
one’s heart from searing blaze used to
systematically dull sensibilities.
I cry so much more than I used to.
It must be so, for tears’ assignment
is to deposit nutrients into
soul’s secluded sanctuary, sole hope
for birthing courage, integrity,
resolve, qualifying ingredients
to tread where few dare,
undeterred and undaunted.
© Julia Penner-Zook, 2017
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com