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  • Warm sunshine
    in a clear blue summer sky
    the brilliant greens of grass and trees
    against the brick and stucco walls
    and plastic signs of red and blue
    beyond the yellow painted lines
    of blacktop with the blue and white
    handicap signs with wheelchairs
    and fines posted, cars and trucks
    and vans and SUV's in maroon,
    cream, emerald, tan, and silver
    filled with people, white and black
    and brown and yellow and red
    rushing in and out and to and fro
    amid the sounds of tires
    rolling along pavement
    string trimmers and lawn mowers
    cutting yards and overhead
    small planes and helicopters
    buzzing overhead like
    oversized mosquitoes...

    An older woman strolls across the blacktop
    rejoicing with her hands above her head
    in burgundy blouse and tan culottes
    and sandals, her companion
    a thin black man without hair
    dressed in worn Addidas sweats
    one hand upon her shoulder smiles
    and laughs with her, and smiles
    as they pass by me sitting
    waiting in my Kia for my son
    and daughter in law and their friend
    while reading Bruce Smith
    they pay no mind, caught up
    in their celebration...

    Quick turn of the key
    the radio announces
    Obama wants to bring
    mental illness out
    of the shadows
    referring to the shooting
    in Connecticut
    I wonder how he ever
    got to be a President
    when mental illness is
    all around us
    look at any street corner
    where disenfranchised
    walk alone in stuttered steps
    and lengthy conversations
    where people live in cardboard
    boxes, eat from garbage cans,
    wear rags instead of Tommy Hilfiger
    or Levis or Sears or J.C. Pennys

    In Matthew we are taught
    to love without condition
    forgive without limitation
    judge no one
    look past the cover to the book
    see what has been created
    for what it is not what it appears to be
    you have only to look
    to see
    there are no shadows
    the shadows
    are the ones
    you create
    to avoid
    what you do not
    want to see.

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