Collective Guilt


You read in your newsfeed
that a child might have died of SIDS,

except police had visited the house
last week to stop a fracas—

and you remember your younger self
sleep-deprived into a pitch of rage.

Your brother-in-law fumes about fines
he just paid for back taxes,

except that at dinner he confesses
he hides cash arrangements—

and now you feel queasy
about your mortgage application.

At a dinner party, a friend insists
there is no other way than Jesus,

except that her granddaughter
goes every Friday to the mosque,

and you wish you had faith in something,
even as you hope you, too, are holy.

by Anne McCrady

NEWSLINKS: MSNBC, Associated Press, FBI