Good news! I found your missing socks on the roadway today, tortured with mud, trampled underfoot, like a lost-and-found where loved ones can rescue old friends who’d marched with them and protected them from the brutality of winter’s chill. Two friends fell in the path of xenophobia— that tired, old retread— splayed flat and torn open like so much roadkill. One got rescued by the neighbor’s retriever, who clutched him tenderly in his mouth, an intimacy most of us would never risk. Another got pecked to death by shrikes. The neighbors gazed on, but no one came to her defense. What was it Elie Wiesel said about the perils of indifference being always the friend of the enemy? Goebbels, that Monster of Propaganda, advised us to accuse our foes of the crimes we ourselves are guilty of. Indifference being among the worst of these. I found your socks, Dear World. I’ve placed each one delicately in my mouth, where accusations typically reside. They are here, waiting. Black and blue. Yellow and red. If neglect is a kind of prison, retrieval is a kind of grace. Whenever you’re ready.
Jill McCabe Johnson is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Revolutions We’d Hoped We’d Outgrown (Finishing Line, 2017) and Diary of the One Swelling Sea (MoonPath, 2013), winner of a Nautilus Book Award in Poetry, plus the nonfiction chapbook, Borderlines (Sweet Publications, 2016). Jill believes we all have a role in protecting human rights and environmental riches, today and for future generations.