what do you see in the dawn's early light?
a bomb bursting from a drone tracked by a satellite?
killing innocent children, both Sunni and Shiite?
a young black man questioned at an urban stoplight?
for no reason than skin color, freedom rejected outright?
do you close privileged eyes to fear and hate not so contrite?
what do you hear in the dawn's early light?
a mournful howl of a caged dog, abused, bitten by a mite?
a sobbing cry of a caged child filled with absolute fright?
a desperate plea from a caged inmate with an alibi airtight?
a deep groan from a veteran hearing firework's dynamite?
caged in a world of PTSD and war's horror each night?
what do you smell in the dawn's early light?
urine and sweat from one staying in a box overnight?
with no sink or soap to wash in 100 degrees fahrenheit?
smoke residue from yet another school vigil candlelight?
stench of garbage piles filled with waste, toxins and blight?
from greed, lack of environmental concern and foresight?
what do you touch in the dawn's early light?
a satin sheet while one sleeps on hard cement of calcite?
the latest screen while a child lacks a pencil of graphite?
a house key while one huddles and yearns in a border site?
a leather bound word of God with verses you highlight?
a wrinkled hand of one aging to bring comfort and delight?
what do you speak in the dawn's early light?
words of compassion to one grieving at a soldier's gravesite?
words of encouragement to one starting a long cancer fight?
words of friendliness to one with a holiday picnic invite?
words of wisdom to one seeking a deeper insight?
words of nonviolence and peace as a way for all to unite?
what do you taste in the dawn's early light?
a plate of bacon and eggs while one begs for a bite?
one so hungry and thin, with no fatty cellulite?
a bowl of grains while forgetting a farmer's flood plight?
fruit picked by a migrant toiling long hours despite
threats of deportation, have you yet lost your appetite?
what do you write in the dawn's early light?
that all men are endowed with an unalienable right
such as life and liberty, while you chain a slave tight?
and ban women from Continental Congress, a sleight?
no women signed the Declaration, could all read and write?
was pursuit of happiness only for those male and white?
Lanie Lass, Clinton, Iowa