Far and Near

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

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Why does the bloated Biafra baby bring a tear,

and the hungry eye-cries of Haitian earthquake victims urge us to tear

our wallets from tightly held fists,

when the man,

the man with the sign in the planter area by the on-ramp,

we assume has a lesser need–that is, if we see him.

The lady,

the lady trying to sell the grubby Beanie-baby at the entrance to the grocery store

does not deserve eye contact,

hand contact,

I-know-you-exist contact,

and we breeze by without even a “No, thank you”–that is, if we see her at all.

Are the far needs greater than the near?

Or just easier to get over?  Unchanged.

Are foreigners more worthy than neighbors?

Or is it just safer to care in one fell feel-good swoop

than love thy ever-present neighbor as ourselves?

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