“a man was going down from [insert place of work,
convenience store, home, or church] to [insert place of work,
convenience store, home, or church] unarmed,
and fell into the hands of officers, who stopped him for
[insert _____-ing while Black reason]. they shot him,
stood above his leaking body, and left him for dead.
now, by chance, a white man [Evangelical]
was going down his Twitter feed.
and when he saw him, he scrolled quickly past
likewise, a white woman [Presbyterian]
came to the place on her Facebook feed.
she saw him and scrolled quickly past
but when [insert the least expected] saw him,
they came near. moved with pity and outrage,
they went to the dead man’s family
to bandage their wounds, pouring action
and appropriate silence as compassion.
they put the burdens on their backs,
addressed them as they were able.
the next day they had not forgotten,
but took two friends and encouraged them
to more than march or hashtag the moment,
saying, ‘we will continue the Work together.
be not afraid: the Lord will repay
whatever social capital we spend.’”
then Jesus asked,
“which of these three was a neighbor
to the man who fell into unholy hands?”
the [insert an asshole “playing devil’s advocate”] said,
“the one who acknowledged his dignity.”
and Jesus replied,
“now go, and do likewise.”
Original published in Poemeleon The Truth/y Issue: VOL. XI Spring 2020 https://poemeleon.me/matthew-e-henry