If I look closely into your
face I see the mystery
and the dignity of you,
not so obvious but obvious.

Your suffering looks back
at me and so you are
the argument that counters
all the clever rhetoric.

I see you surviving,
despite the condition
of a world that would
rather not look
at your face at all.

And yet I question myself
about why I think like I do
about you and your plight
that only a few seem able to see.

Is it my empathy reaching out
across the boundaries of culture,
time and circumstance, or the rattling
sabre of my middle class morality?

Will I open my pockets and pull
out the cash of my discontentment
with the way things are in a
world of haves and have-nothings?

Yet, even if I examine myself and
the motives that drive how I feel
about you, the image of your face
is all that remains to strike the chord in me.

Your face with the resolution and the pain.
Your face that is human like me.
Your face that makes your claim
for dignity on the basis of itself alone.