A Social Change is in the Air

 

A social change is in the air,

A bitter, gulping, frigid social change.

The kind where no one lends a hand because no one can.

We’ve stretched ourselves too thin, America.

We’ve stretched our arms too far apart this time.

Our fingertips extend but do not attempt to reach our neighbors.

We rarely know their names.

And if they tell us, we forget. They don’t matter anyway.

 

We are too far removed from establishing a community at this point,

Too far away to appreciate extending maternity leave

Or to assist and praise our elderly.

If you tip your head back, you can taste it in the air, the bitterness.

The loneliness that comes from pushing job responsibilities instead of family.

Living in a world of well we had it much worse why shouldn’t our kids suffer?

Just doesn’t make much sense to me,

But I taste it and I dread the aftertaste.

 

America, my dear, what are we doing?

Hiding behind computer screens and guns.

Promoting critical thinking in education,

In order to stay quiet once we have a steady job.

Don’t talk politics, avoid religion.

If it matters to you keep it tucked away.

We can’t have anyone offended.

We can’t have anyone speaking honestly, openly.

And it didn’t have to be this way.

 

We could have learned to love debate.

We should have learned to correspond and disagree.

Instead we learn a social-promoted silence.

We tuck away our health, our loves, our miseries.

Because no one has time to give a damn, anyway.

 

So often it is hard to catch your breath,

Your chest tightens and chokes.

Your mind spins and everything becomes unclear.

And this is okay. Everybody feels this way.

Admitting you struggle is the real shame.

If you verbalize your pain I guarantee they will say,

You think you have it rough? Imagine being me.

You couldn’t handle it, not even for one day.

 

We strive too hard to make life perfect.

The result: Inadequacies, anxiety, distrust.

Our desperation is being tallied by the cost of our prescriptions.

But do not worry, America, we have a medicine for that.

And Hippa so no one knows that we are all equally alone.

 

Equality, right, that was goal, I think. Way back when.

Is that still the goal today?

To strive and live and laugh and love together?

Was it together? I barely remember.

I’ve been working so hard to keep myself happy.

After all, it is my lone responsibility.

 

Americans, we work relentlessly.

We echo Boxer’s motto to work harder still.

We are resilient and unstoppable and in being socially acceptable

We keep to ourselves.

Too busy pushing on to think of where we were pushing to.

We no longer perpetuate unjustified hate.

We no longer misjudge our neighbor.

We are not even sure we have one.

We no longer hate each other.

 

Because we value equality and freedom of the free?

Because we’ve finally learned to love and live in peace?

I’m sorry, Langston, no.

This is not the social change you’d hoped.

It’s because we’re much too busy.

And our commitment to self-hate must take priority.

 

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