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Look the Other Way

You see a homeless man in the street
With a flimsy cardboard sign
That reads
“Anything Helps”
But you turn away
Because you assume that he deserves
To be cold, starved, and thirsty
Because he must be on drugs
Or an alcoholic
Or has done something horribly wrong
But what you don’t know
Is that this man’s job as an office executive
Got cut because the budget
Was cut
And no else would hire him
So he, his wife, and little baby girl
Have to sleep in a van
Because people looked the other way

You see a little girl walking to school
Wearing a baggy dress
That is worth less than old rags
Clutching her books
Like they mean her life
You see the finger sized bruises
Lining her arms and knees
Because you can’t bear to see
The horrors of what a human can do
But what you don’t know
Is that her father is a grizzly bear
That revels in blood in pain
And one night
She stops breathing
Because people looked the other way

You see in a teenager on the back of a bus
With night black lips
And clown white skin
Blanketed with piercings
Dressed like what you assume is a rebel
So you look the other way
Because you don’t want to be associated with him
But what you don’t know
Is the burning agony he feels
Every time someone turns away
Or laughs mockingly
Or calls him a freak
All he wants is to be heard
But no one listens
So at night warm red blood
Drips on a razor sharp knife
Because people looked the other way

You see a Hispanic woman
Searching frantically
For a less than minimum wage job
But you turn the other way
Because you assume she is an illegal
Part of America’s giant blemish
But you don’t know
That in her home country screams are heard
In the streets
Along with cries
Of hungry children
Or that her husband was shot
Caught in the middle of a gang fight
And that she came here to escape that
But she and her baby will stay trapped
Because people looked the other way

Every day you pass
People caught in emotional turmoil
Hidden by a fake smile
Plastered across their face
And you look the other way
Because you don’t know
And you have your own problems
And if people are miserable they deserve it
Because they did something wrong
But if once, just once
You didn’t look the other way
A man and his family won’t starve
A little girl’s life could be saved
A teenager doesn’t have to despair
A woman and her baby can get by
But it takes you
To stand against the crowd
And not look the other way



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