How important and how conscious and how good we feel
When we crowd into the small independent theater and we settle next
To groups of diverse strangers in head scarves with NPR tote bags
And we watch the documentary that details
The horror of Women That Are Not Us.
We gasp and we cluck at the appropriate moments.
We “thank God that doesn’t happen here”
And we wonder what we can do to help
In between fistfuls of popcorn that leave our hands greasy,
Our tongues thirsting for the Diet Coke they paraded around in the ads.
We fantasize about fundraisers and we hash tag the tweets and for
The next twenty-four hours we lie in bed staring at the ceiling,
Prophesizing about what would have happened if that had been us,
Not them, and we feel guilty until the weight of our down comforters
Hug us to sleep and we are calm and we are safe and we are okay.
Then the details of our lives overtake us and oh god the grocery
List is so long and the laundry piles up and the assignments are
Coming due and the house is a mess and when did life get so hard?
I remember there are two types of people in this world, and I’m lucky
Because I get to be the spectator and not the subject,
The person who pays the $10.50 admission, a temporary redemption.
The women documented in the movie stood up to the Taliban
And I was too afraid to ask the people sitting beside me in the neat row
If they could just scoot so I could slip by and get a head start
On living this normal life that I, for whatever reason, have won.
The advertising posters begin to peel and are torn down until
Next week, when new movies are released and new injustices recounted.
Annie Ertle is a junior at John Carroll University. She is studying Communications and English.