I caught myself. Thinking. Realizing, feeling
More anger for that man on the horse
Than compassion for the man desperate for food.
More contempt for the words “This is not who we are”
Than compassion for the father trying to rescue his child.
More energy for “my country,” repeating its mistakes
Than for the people our mistakes are hurting.
I look up and I am one of “them.”
One of whom I am ashamed. One of the ones I scorn.
My taxes pay that man on the horse.
My compassion does nothing for the woman and her child.
I see in his face what I’ve seen before — illness, hate, paranoia, fear.
I don’t recognize as much the agony of the mother
I have never starved. I have never fled a country.
A sign says “Texas kinda sucks”
On a street in California.
I think of family in Texas – descendants of the enslaved.
And the Californian who made the sign,
Likely voted for this president,
Probably pays the federal taxes
That pay that man on the horse.
And my privileges place me also
Amid the mass delusion
That refuses to see itself
In that man on the horse.