Other People are Just Trying to Exist

[image description: winter woods, devoid of leaves in the bright evening sunlight, sunburst captured between the fork of a tree, with brilliant blue sky in the background and large, gnarled tree roots in the foreground. ]

Far too many are deluded into thinking
what ails society is other people’s
bodies, abilities, questions, insights,
ways of being,
if those differ from the accepted reality
they’ve acquired from

bad interpretations of their sacred texts,
harmful narratives grounded in domination,
manipulations of power-hungry
public figures.

Walking around
believing self-determination
when what they have is simply compliance
to conditions determined by others,
falsehoods masquerading as freedom.

Convinced those simply moving to
live authentically,
share understanding,
advocate for equity,
impart hard-won knowledge,
are pushing a destructive agenda

when they are the ones with an agenda
to withhold access,
to exclude,
to silence,
to control,
to harm.

So sure that someone
else existing as their true self,
with needs met,
with celebration,
with support,
threatens their existence
that they want the other
to stop existing.

Imaginations impoverished,
unable to understand,
it is their own prison
into which they are wishing
to confine the world.

Terrified seeing those
living in the clear light of true freedom for all,
threatened by radical reimagining,
unable or unwilling to believe
in compassion,
in spaciousness,
in love
that could also be theirs
if they freed themselves
as well.

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