Friday, March 9, 2018


Jude opened the heavy door
to her building,
dropped her keys and cursed.
She crouched down to pick them up
and was suddenly shoved
aside by police who burst through the door
behind her.
She had already been off balance,
so nearly fell over.
“Hey!” she shouted,
but the officers
dressed in riot gear
had already taken a right
in the corridor
and vanished from sight.

“Jesus!” she exclaimed,
now once again alone.
Patron saint of the hopeless causes,
although she was now a proud atheist.
When she was seventeen,
she unsuccessfully fought with her
Catholic high school
for gay and transgender rights.
In the last election,
She supported a 23-year-old friend
for alderman
whose main campaign promises
involved providing shelter for the homeless
and legalizing recreational marijuana.
Now she yearned to be a journalist
when all the newspapers were dying.

She readjusted her messenger bag
on her shoulder,
checked her mail,
then the police marched back out,
dragging the Meshad family
with them.
Majid had some kind of cloth bag
over his head.
His wife, Farah, her head scarf askew,
was screaming.
And their nine-year-old daughter, Maram,
looked back at Jude with wide eyes.
“Hey!” Jude cried,
“What are you doing with them?”
She received no response
as she dug furiously through her
messenger bag
and stood up with cell phone in hand.
She trailed behind them outside
to the unmarked cars,
“I’m filming you!  The world is going to see this!”
She was ignored, except the last of the
officers or feds, whatever they were,
walked up slowly to her.
With a smile,
he silently grabbed her cell phone
and crushed it underfoot.
They put the Meshads in a white van
and drove away.

the patron saint of the hopeless causes,
ran upstairs to her apartment
and logged into her blog,
which hardly anyone read.
But she was going to tell the world
what she had just seen.

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