Heartbroken. Ashamed? Startled to glimpse that sliver in the skin that radiates fear. Not mal intent, not violent indulgence. Fear. Fear induced anger, hopelessness, outrage, muzzled acceptance, reckoning and justification for that which seems unchangeable. A bravado that includes a self-flagellation of crime and shields against further harm. A seething rage because protection for the young, old, vulnerable, strong, righteous, selfish, good, and bad is universally denied by a blind knowledge the others hold. A sleeping dust that keeps us and them separate in our overly educated minds and hearts that no longer look with pure eyes and heart to see that someone is hungry for peace and safety and the right to walk free as we eat our white bread sandwich filled with entitlement for all that makes us human, American, free . Despite our sharing and caring we can’t know the fear. It is simply not in our wheelhouse. Our days are not spent negotiating where and how we will step or speak or fearing for the bravado of the young who still imagine they can be free to be without penalty or possibility of the unjust smack down by a look, a chastisement, of not being seen, or maybe just being shot. From where I stand I have been anesthetized by my bubble, my privilege, my comfort, my freedom from fear, my knowledge of justice, compassion, the taken for granted ability of neighbors to share without fear. I sniffed the truth of this occasionally and bristled in my seat at the edges of the bubble. Felt true compassion and earnest want and need to change or help but today I feel heartbroken that in all that, I missed the unassailable hold of living in constant fear.


Richmond, VA

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