Here is a poem I wrote a short while ago.

How Close is Distant

What if                the woman across the street

         slapped her toddler’s tear-streaked face,

                  a policeman stopped the car next to ours

         and yanked a black teenager from behind the wheel?

What if                our city’s newspaper printed a story

         we knew was a lie,

                  our boss made a dirty joke about

         our colleague in the lunchroom?

What if                our country’s new law

         threatened the life of our neighbor,

                  threatened the life of the family

         we knew we’d never meet?

What if                a six year-old girl was raped

         in a country we never heard of,

                  a sixteen year-old boy was tortured

         in the school down the road?

What if                our visas were denied because of a joke

         we made on Facebook,     

we looked out our hotel window

         and saw smoke from a distant bomb?

What if                an ancient cemetery was vandalized

                  our grandmother’s grave was dug up

                  our church was burnt down

                  our friend’s child was stolen

our father was murdered as the family looked on?

What then?