Normal

[Image Description: Shadowed canyon walls on either side of a river, blue sky, rock formations, and light from the rising sun in the background.]

Well, thank goodness we’re getting back to normal
as evidenced everywhere we go.

Regulations disregarded even before they’re even lifted
it all feels so normal now, doesn’t it?

As if three and a half million people have not died
of a pandemic made worse by refusal to act for mutual protection.

As if entire communities didn’t get sucked into a cesspool of conspiracy
or refuse to give a damn about their neighbors while fawning over unethical politicians.

As if children are not being killed in their own homes
by bombs and guns funded by world governments.

As if people are not dying, starving, fleeing devastation caused by destructive policy,
only to be caged on the borders of the countries that caused the most harm.

As if our tax dollars are not being used to kill and imprison and oppress
while the instruments of oppression are heralded as heroes.

As if rights of protest, votes, and safety aren’t being gleefully stripped from the vulnerable
at the manipulation of the rich and powerful.

As if people aren’t losing people, losing homes, losing peace, while being called lazy and selfish
for not sacrificing all on the altar of the economy for others’ convenience.

As if water and trees and the earth herself are not being ravaged
and her protectors are not cheated, brutalized for corporate gain.

As if Christians don’t worship corrupt, abusive men and follow them blindly
down a path that is nothing like the love of Christ.

As if there is nothing to grieve, nothing to morn, nothing to learn from,
no reason for pause or grace.

As if everything is fine, so totally fine, nothing to see here, everything is so, so normal
as long as you spend your money, demand service and subservience to your whims.

As if normal has not always been this tragic, trauma-filled ruin
that only those with privilege can pretend not to see.

As if those whose eyes are open don’t have the power to imagine and co-create
and bring about a better way than normal.

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