There are two kinds of people in the world:
there are those who believe they are right,
and those who believe the one’s who think
they’re right are wrong, and through years
by the thousand, nothing much has changed.
Of course the details are shaped by context,
whittled into rabbits that want chasing, or
duck calls meant to bring prey into range, or
gods that fit into pockets where fingers can
find and rub them ‘til they shine.
The denominator has always been difference;
the unlikeness of brothers or the order of
birth, the pigment of skin or the iris of eyes,
the shape of the head or the color of hair,
the height attained and noses beaked or wide,
these are the unlikenesses that divide us into
us and them; the rationale imposed at a glance
that keep us wary and apart, unwilling to share
the well, the temple, or the harvest and we are
rich with judgment that we toss like loose coins
to beggars, knowing there is more from whence
that came with plenty to spare and it costs us
nothing to fling it at those who have none, and
the have-nots gather not wealth but the pathogen
of fear, and a new generation is seeded with hate.
We could blame the Almighty for all of this, for
his interest in Abel over Cain, but that evokes a
worrisome faith that the Lord hasn’t finished with
favorites and may yet mark lines we thought
were drawn at our heels and not our toes.
No matter the outcome of choice and elections,
our history will always bear witness to how much
the us-ness of us is salved by keeping the them-ness
of them at a distance, praying that our differences
are clear and we are the ones who are right.
© Dana Hughes 11.8.16