Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Possible Peace

There’s a lot
not to understand,
news reports that make us
wince, wring our hands,
and wonder,
what can be done

There’s too much
striving, climbing, scrambling
to get to the top of the wall
to declare it MINE
in the name of whatever
knocking down the weak
kicking difference in the face
ignoring the cry, the injustice,
the suffering soul
of another’s humanity.

Peace — who can speak of its possibility
with a million forces mounting
always, always against us?

We must remember.
We must take heart.

Walls built in hatred have come down.
Tyrants too have to die.
Enlightenment manages to emerge, somehow.

Even still, the images rend us
Teachers taking bullets for their students
Journalists on their knees for medieval-like execution.

We endlessly ask,
How could they?
What’s to be done?

Our peace is disturbed.
We pound our fists.
shout at the television.
Our anger and frustration
Slowly brewing into bitterness
And helplessness.

It is true.
We can’t eradicate evil
any more than we can stop
the flowering of new life.

We can only trust that the poverty we see,
the cries for injustice that we hear
the reason the full-hearted speak,
will change us.

We don’t have to search other continents
or journey into foreign war zones
or distant lands full of the oppressed.

There are neighbors,
Invisible ones we don’t usually see
living on streets we often pass by,
in those sections of town
where people are different.

We can open our eyes
change our response
see someone’s child instead of a criminal
up to no good.

We can see people
who know a thing or two about community
instead of foreigners who don’t belong.

We can hear music in words and accents
we don’t understand,
glory in the differences,
take joy in the capacity to understand,
and offer a helping hand
a voice calling for change

one small step
one opened mind
one softened heart
at a time.

A poem by Amy Douglas and read by Amy Douglas at 1stUUPB during the Sunday peace service, Sep 20, 2015.

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