Just Ordinary People

by Joanne Jagoda

Just ordinary people in their puffy parkas, knit hats,

Babies bundled in strollers, bewildered toddlers in tow.

Just ordinary people like you and me,

Parents and old folk, neighbors and strangers,

Teachers and plumbers, students and programmers.

Gathered at train stations, huddled in subways, piling on buses,

Clutching hastily packed bags and wheelie suitcases, cellphones.in hand.

Did they think to grab a few family photos?

Did they leave dinners on the stove, milk in the Frig

Laundry unfolded, beds unmade, pianos un-played,

School books scattered on kitchen tables?

Birthday parties, weddings left undone,

Normal pieces of life scattered in the wind like confetti.

Lives dismembered with each missile, each bomb,

Wanton destruction of schools, hospitals and apartments

Lives heaved and roiled, upended and destroyed,

While the line of tanks keeps rolling, rolling,

And the fathers kiss wives and babies,

And the lovers leave girlfriends

Three million souls becoming refugees,

Labels they never dreamed they'd wear.

And why, tell me why, someone tell me why

Who will answer for this latest aberration?

Who will answer

To the ordinary people, just like you and me?

The world can't be silent again.