If only

He had followed the police instructions,

She had worn a longer dress,

That child stayed on the sidewalk,

The protesters been more Christ-like.

These lies we tell ourselves to sooth the ugly truth;

Flowers on another grave, A life of promise altered, torn

A set of new shoes never worn.

If only the victim had been perfect;

Forgetting the prayer we say every Sunday:

“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”

A reminder that there is no unblemished life.

Together we meet in hallowed halls, recite this prayer,

Words falling dead upon the ground broken glass,

Before the sun had set the vow was broken six times they said. . . six times.

Are these sins so terrible as to be fatal?

We water the tree of liberty with the blood of children and it withers.

What if the man with the gun was held to the same standard of perfection as the person it was pointed at?

The driver the same as the child,

The man the same as the woman,

Ourselves as everyone,

What would that world look like?

One thought on “If only

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