The Plight
19th January 2018

I wish I could hold on to this feeling,
Grasped from the knowledge that I’m lucky,
That many have it worse,
That children are starving in Africa,
That children are starving nearby,

It sounds wrong but,
It makes me want to be better,
To give more,
It’s humbling,
But fickle,

No sooner than the sun has set and risen anew,
My priorities are reordered accordingly,
Helping the children lies low on the list,
Somewhere between watering the plants and going to the gym,
Something I’ll do tomorrow,

Something I might mention at a dinner party,
To show I care,
Or at least imply it,
An interesting tidbit about myself,
Dropped in the middle of conversation,

“Oh yes I read about the starving children,
Yes it’s terrible,
I definitely want to help,
Maybe volunteer,
Once I’m off this diet,”

And so the feeling drains through my fingers,
Like clear water through cupped hands,
Leaving me holding the knowledge,
Hard as stone,
That I’m privileged,

Knowledge that’s readily admitted,
A rote answer regurgitated but rarely understood,
Absolving me of my fortune,

As though awareness counts for action,
Or discussing disparity narrows the gap,
As if intentions feed the children,
Though they do satiate my guilt,
Convincing myself I care,

And therein lies the crux of my complacency,
The crutch my morality leans on,
Allowing me to live out this hypocrisy happily,
Writing poems about the plight of privilege.