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What is so clear to us they fail to see,
Wealth and power, it seems, can blind the sight.
We call them “they”, would rather not say “we”.

We shared a language, a common history.
Changes so drastic are not done overnight.
What is so clear to us they fail to see?

There used to be a time when we’d agree,
to be with your kin should bring some delight.
Now they are “they”, we’d rather not say “we”.

They bring stacks of money for shopping spree,
New riches, forced pride, just can’t be right.
What is so clear to us they fail to see?

Corrupt officials, stealthy secrecy,
Wobbly buildings, poisoned food send you frights;
How can we not call them “they”, but not “we”?

Whatever disguise, whate’er guarantee,
Helpless though we are sorry for their plight.
What is so clear and yet they fail to see:
We call them “they”, for they never could be “we”.

[a villanelle]

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photo courtesy of bernard, taken in waitomo, new zealand.

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