There Was a Man

There was a man
who saw.
Walking the well-lit ways, he
peered down darkened corners
to observe crimes against man
and nature.
There was a man who saw
but said nothing.
It was none of his business.

There was a man
who heard.
Deals whispered in secret from above:
currency for relief, favors for favors,
anything the heart may desire.
Making no answer, he made his way.
There was a man who heard,
but did nothing.
It was not his affair.

There was a man
who knew.
Every act of violence, every tear shed
cried out to him with voiceless anguish.
He shivered and cried out, ran away to avoid
the nameless faces and deny the soulless pain.
There was a man who knew
but did not help.
He wanted to be left alone.

There was a man
who lived.
Hiding from the dangerous looks,
running from smiling faces with malicious intent.
Then came the day that the misery he denied,
the pain he ignored and the crimes he turned his eye from
faced him where he could not run to demand accounting.

There was a man
who died.
The problem had become his own.