People find a way

People find a way to be good and thoughtful
even when there is every reason to think
it will make them appear naive,
to know that it will
bite them in the ass
like an angry boar.
They don’t have to be so thoughtful;
they could despair instead.
It is easy to despair when crowded out by
the big picture.
The news thinks they know what is important to us.
They don’t know a thing.
Politicians think they know what’s on our mind.
They don’t know a thing.
The Illuminati—
yes, the illuminati is real or at least it might as well be—
the illuminati thinks it has our number.
It doesn’t know a thing.
Every day someone small, someone little,
shares again something that reminds us who we used to be.
We could always be shallow,
but there was a time we didn’t try to be cruel.
Like a naive young royal we endeavored to do good.
There are people who are still at it out there in the world.
People everywhere are trying in their small way to wake us
from this bad dream of angry impotence.
There was a time we were not afraid
to try to be good and brave and strong
instead of only safe.
Even our movies and stories tried to reinforce
the ideal of an American nobility of spirit,
of brotherhood and love that our national face is now
too jaded to care about.
But people everywhere are trying in their small way
to wake us up, to remind us that we can still
change things for the better if we try.
Even something so small as reminding us in a movie
how good people can do the wrong thing,
yet still try to rise above it
to try as best they can to make it right.
To try in our small way.
Some person put this clip on Youtube to remind us
that everything doesn’t have to be simple,
that everything doesn’t have to be crap,
that America and Americans aren’t just a bunch of pricks
shot from a porno POV to appear big.
We are bothered beneath our skin.
We rumble and roil in our flesh like a Rick Baker
special effect, unsure
what form we are being pressed into.
Some person is showing us how the brim of a hat
acts with poetic force to underline a theme,
that justice can be blind, as blind as a drone
that hugs the nap of the earth, and spatters the ground
with the blood of my brother.
With the wrongful death of my brother.
His burden is become my own
and, God help me, I am unprepared
to take that burden on.
I am too small to bear the weight
of my peculiar sins.
I must try to find a way.

—Don Whittington


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