Friday, June 27, 2014



Where is the cry of the poor?
Where do you hear it?
How does that sound travel,
How far can their voice carry,
How loud must it be?

Where is the cry of the poor?
When does their articulation
Resolve in recognition?
Where do you know it?
Will you discern its need,
Will you receive its truth,
Will you own its claim?

Where is the cry of the poor?
Where do you feel it?
When you see its clothes
When you meet its face
When you touch its pain?

One man is running
To outdistance that sound
One man makes noises
So it cannot be heard
Another wears dark glasses
So what he sees we cannot know
And gloves so he will not feel
While many wear hardness for hearts
And apathy for souls.

We posit some supposition
A caveat of inquisition:
Does it take
A walk past Lazarus,
Or a separation from Abraham’s bosom?

Some can see another’s sores
That the dogs lick
Those that won’t will only feel the heat
And wish those they used to command
Would assuage them.
Sound waves of the poor
Which elicit compassion
Come not through the ears
But through the heart!

Is it days of hunger
You need
Lean stomach
And your belly distended
Rags and disassembled shoes
Shopping carts with plastic sheeting
For your home and bed?

Does it require a disease
Which could be cured
Except for the fee
You cannot afford?

Is it the loss of a job
Or eviction
Impoundment or prison
Some circumstantial wrench
To get your attention?

They cry now
And you aren’t disturbed
You’ll cry then
But you won’t be heard.

Randy Nabors, June 27, 2014

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