Art Contest 2018: 2nd Place Winner

Us ? Them

 by Howard dePass


Say it out loud.
With  vigor And
honor And
courage And
might And pride
And fear
And anxiety And
And all you have ever been told not to
feel but have felt anyway like
intuition has played the lead role in a Netflix special.

Scripture tells me that life and death is on the tongue, And Lord
knows there be no Eden that live here
No simple solution to complex issues
Or eureka-like policy that has been penned into history’s diary Nobody to
and redeem the wound
Just ineffective ointment and dollar store bandages to get by
what you hate to be reminded of.

Pay close attention to times as if you’re rewriting the history of new Romans and just
want to detail the dynasty.
What takes place and when and where And
how and why and who
It effects and how you know those people And if
you don’t know them then maybe Your kids will
Or if not your kids then maybe your grandkids Or if
not your grandkids then maybe your best friend
And we’re all effected but to
choose when you are is a
privilege not all 7 billion of us have

We’re all “us” and “them” to somebody.

People who love to see us and smile when we smile And laugh
with us and never at us
And people who hate the very thought
of that sweet day we came out the womb.
People who would rather us be
in thought and speech and
evict us
from places we have only known as home. Both of
those people are alive right now. Both are
breathing this very air
And are speaking as we speak And
are just as vulnerable

I beg of you. To always consider the unknown.
I plead with you. To deconstruct the
rhetoric that’s empowered you.
I request of you. To sit with the other side like
your humanity is wrapped up
in the livelihood of the other person’s.
Because, believe it or not,
It is.

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