To Be Human

The thing hoods his head and shrouds his face
scared to let others know the real him.
Would he let us see the contour of his soul?
Beloved earthling, why do you hide behind
a black shade? Is your face so accursed
it glowers beyond my nightmare?
What kind of god tells you to behead
one who touched not a single strand
of your hair?
What power sets your mind to mangle
a world so lovingly shaped by the one
true God, then rend yourself to pieces?
What vileness breaks your fragile brain
and turns your humanness into a chimera?
Oh, that you would wake up ,
look to the sun and not be blinded,
shake off the shackles and taste
the heroic, wresting lives from the dragon.
Breathe in the fresh scent of flowers,
cradle a baby, nurse a wounded soldier.
See, the sky bends to kiss the sea.
Sun gleams resplendent if you let it in.
See the you that is human and beautiful
with all the fullness of your splendor.

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I'm a retired teacher of English as a second language (ESL) at Los Angeles Unified School District and a graduate of journalism and English. "To Be Human" is one of my many poems dealing with current issues in a world gone awry: desecration of human lives, decaying values, destruction of the environment, etc. I am widowed with four children.