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Image for post
Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

No one is asking you to run into the street
with a pot left boiling on your stove.
All that is asked of you is to know
there are people who learned to ride bikes

like you did, with a mother or father’s hand
holding the seat, refusing to let go until
the last moment. They sat in other classrooms
learning about Manifest Destiny

like you did, and how a bill becomes a law
like you did, and memorizing math facts
after Sunday school. Like you did.
But they can’t trace their ancestry back

to an English lord or Irish farmer.
There are no papers at Ellis island.
No one is asking you to charge
the wall with roses. All that is asked

is to hold someone else’s hand, look
them in the eyes long enough to see
in the same direction and cast off
the developing sin of indifference.

© Trapper Markelz 2020

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