An evening of Myth and Poetry

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February 1, 2017  in Trinidad, CO

annette meserve writing storyteller poet author fiction flash short stories novels

Out for a Jog

We find ourselves now
living in a world where
it's acceptable
to give excuses
for the inexcusable,

excuses that,
if given at another time in history
under other circumstances,
wouldn't be acceptable at all,

and yet, these excuses
seem to pass by now,
virtually unnoticed.

A world leader says
"I was being sarcastic."
no matter his words
caused loss of life,

him occupying a space
that, at other times in history,
under different circumstances,
has been one of authority,
one of integrity and trust,

this world leader who
to have no understanding that 'sarcasm'
isn't warranted
isn't appropriate,

isn't an excuse.

But, if it was indeed sarcasm,
and not a buffoon's uninformed
stab at being the one 'in the know,'
it was a callous
demonstration of a leader
appallingly out of touch
with the situation
and his role in it.

And now another excuse
comes in the morning news,
not from a world leader
but from a civilian
with no authority
of any kind.

"He fit the description of the burglar."

As if, had the young jogger
actually been the man they thought,
it would have been acceptable
for a retiree and his son
to confront a suspect at gunpoint,
to give him 'simple commands'
and have any reasonable expectation
for him to follow them,

as if we don't live in a country
where there are officials to be called
laws to be upheld
by those who have been
commissioned to do so,
laws designed to protect
ALL of our citizens.

Each one of us has a Constitutional right
not only to assemble,
to bear arms,
but also to avail ourselves of
Due Process under the law,
to be judged within
to a trial of our peers,
innocent until proven guilty.

In that moment,
in that Georgia park,
whether this young man
was the one they suspected
or he wasn't,
he, like all citizens of this country,
had the right
to not be gunned down in the street.

And he was not the man they thought,
was guilty of nothing more than
needing to stretch his legs,
while being black.  

Yet his killers
and those that support them
after the fact,
demonstrate no remorse,
offering only the excuse,

an excuse
that does nothing to absolve them
of going against
our country's guiding document,
a document that many in their camp
are even now holding up
as reason they should have freedoms
to do what they want
to go where they please.

Yet, with this excuse employed 
by the shooters,
it is as if the Constitution
is only intended to apply   
to those who look like them,

their excuse saying
not that they got caught up
in the heat of the moment,
not that, upon reflection,
they were wrong,
surely not that they are sorry,

not that any of these words 
would excuse them, 
would bring the young man back.

No, their excuse says simply,
'We thought he was someone else
and if he'd been that guy
what we did
would have been appropriate.'

So my question,
as I sit

unable to effect any change
in response to the awful direction
things are taking,

My question is,
How can we live in a world
with the brutal entitlement
that makes it possible
for such people
to do such a horrendous thing
and in the light of day,
unconcerned about witnesses all around?

How can we live in a world,
in a country claiming to be great,
while it took days for the gunmen
to be arrested
and called to account?  

How can we live here
where excuses can be so brazenly

                               ©2020 Annette Meserve




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