I once thought, this too must come
to sense, as I covered my eyes,
cried from stories about bodies dragged
and mangled and men wielding hoses
spewing hatred. The killing
at Kent State, the shock back then
nursing my son as I watched
Kennedy die in his open limo
in Dallas, helpless, as I still am,
numb, mesmerized and disappointed.
What has happened here, America?
I shudder as maniacs with guns
shoot kids at school, at movies, in church.
Students spew angry taunts in a spirit
as giddy as a Christmas Carol
and play the latest campus
social game of cruelty protected
by anonymity. Hatred is contagious
and it's spreading fast.
The air's been seeping out of our ideals
for years. And now our bubble bursts
from piercings that tear holes
in the remnants of the fabric
of kindness and compassion.
Love thy neighbor's been replaced
by Me-first. You-go back
to where you came from.
I see no period at sentence end
as long as humankind runs on
fear and greed and blame.
No-one is self-made.
I too am immigrant.
I too am brown and black and white.
I too am Muslim, Christian, Jew.
There is no other, except
we make him so.
- Rosalind Brenner