IGNORANCE WAS A WOODLOUSE

by Jake Reynolds

burrowing into places dark and damp,
tucking itself into a brittle clot
and festering.

Its womb was the catacomb
where its armour grew.
A wretched place, free from light.

A Damascene girl, ash-dusted.
It squirmed in her palm,
flaunting itself amongst
the rubble and crumble.

It got around. It crept into the ears
of leaders and holidayed
on the Eurostar. It put on weight.

It laughed in her tiny hand
when she cried ‘Mumiyeh, mumiyeh.’
‘Oh kid. It’s too late for that now.’
It showed her its holiday album.

‘They’re too busy with mortgages.
Promotions. Budgets. Cry all you like
for your mumiyeh. They don’t care, kid.
They don’t fucking care.’

 

It took a picture of a dead child to shame Europe into taking its hands out of its pockets in order to act in the unfolding refugee crisis that has, in its own way, tested the collective morality of various European nations and leaders. It seems to me that the biggest threat to our self-titled status as a moral nation and/or continent is ignorance. Day to day ignorance, the turning of a blind eye, the woeful misunderstanding of the greater situation and events in motion. Ignorance is, slowly and surely, rotting us from the inside out.

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