You shout epithets and 
scream of immortal souls 
in peril of eternal damnation
because they do not
meet your standard of 
what is right and wrong.
In the name of voices
you hear in your head,
you accuse others 
of being miscreants and deviants,
when all they are doing
is following their own inner voice.
You offer prayers, 
not to help them through their daily trials,
but to change them into something they cannot be.
You tell them their bodies are not their own,
knowing nothing of the trials they face.
You have not walked in their shoes,
how dare you claim to know their hearts.

I am an aging white woman.
I have been blessed with loving family,
good friends, and good health.
I have made choices in my life—
who I love was not one of them,
it was destined from the moment of my birth.
I've had two children and a miscarriage—
and I'm grateful that I never had to choose
between having a child or my life.
I will never know what it's like to be
of another race, but I see grace 
in a kind voice, a warm smile, 
or an outstretched hand,
no matter what color it may be.
Perfection isn't possible,
but we can try to create a world
where each person is 
free to be who they are.

Keep your religion, 
your greed, 
your prejudice, 
your politics, 
to yourself. 
Try living the Golden Rule—
treat others how you want to be treated.
If we don't do something soon,
we are all in great peril.

~Elise Skidmore ©2022

a group of people in white clothes standing beside the brick wall
Photo by cottonbro studio on

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