Somewhere, searchers are combing through rubble
to find signs of life, or remains, while I fret over the
size of my belly, bloated by excess, filled by gluttony.
Somewhere, a mother pleas for the return of her child,
a daughter stolen, held by authority, while another cries
because her toddler’s coiffed appearance fails to win.
Somewhere, their village destroyed by war, families
flee to find peace, encounter rejection, and worse,
while a son murders his sister to honour family pride.
Somewhere, parents wait with terror-seized hearts
as a gun-wielding lunatic holds their children hostage,
while businessman fatten their wallets over arms sales.
Perspective tells me that I am unjustified to complain
over my first world problems, am selfish to bemoan
the trivialities of my self-centered existence, that I just
need to shift my viewpoint, look outside myself, and see
that inequalities and hardships beg for my compassion,
alter my focus and become a beacon for the world; and,
yet, I am overwhelmed by the tragedy that floods my
large screen TV, desensitized by the staged and unstaged
images of brutality, tired of the unsubstantiated claims
of terrorism, and the political garnering for votes; cannot
bear to hear of one more gun attack in a country where
the right to bear arms is confused with personal security;
feel out of control when I listen to stories of great loss,
am compelled to shut off the media, turn my attention to
self-criticism, and find a manageable issue close to home.