Man Crushed by Indifference

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I could not leave a happy poem as the top item on the blog for long now, could I? Folks would start to think I’d gone soft and lost my moldy edge. Something from last summer, for your emotional and reading displeasure…

There was video from a cell phone today on CNN
That showed a man
With his lower body pinned
Between a subway train
And the platform

He was surrounded by commuters
Looking
Standing well back
Ringing him

He was completely isolated
In his overwhelming pain
No one kneeled near him
No comforting touch was offered

The crowd yelled at him to remain still
As he thrashed in agony
Trying to hold his upper body up
On his shaking arms

No one cradled him
Or offered soothing voice assurances
That help would arrive soon

Finally
one man moved slightly forward
Dropped to one knee
Extended a hand but did not touch him
And murmured some encouragement to hang on

Someone filmed it all on their cell phone
Looked through the lens at his pain
And recorded it
Recorded how the suffering man was awash in humanity
And treated so inhumanely

Why did no one come forward
Did they fear that accidents are contagious
Afraid they might be sued for kindness
Were they overwhelmed
by their own sense of helplessness
Or not willing to get blood on their business suits

Did they think, “Well you don’t see this every day.”
And “That’s gotta hurt.”
Then move along and get to work
Maybe spike their coffee with a shot of rum
To shake off the after taste of unfiltered suffering

If it were you
what would you want
A video record of your trauma
Or a human connection
Some love to hopefully
Peirce your pain and fear
And remind you that you were
Indeed
Still Alive

June 18, 2010
Julie Ayers

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About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

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