Gratitude’s Adversary

those who are privileged 

and also empaths

are saddled with a duty and responsibility,

bound to act 

bound to a debt to be paid back

passed on perhaps at birth

that they are burdened by 

more so than those, 

bereft of empathy, 

who benefit yet fail 

to pay the duty back

in tax or altruistic acts – 

for disowned accidents of chance

and if the sense of a debt and respect 

for the value of the gift  – 

remains unaddressed – 

a privilege might extend the debt,

to lengthen a part of life

lived equally and just 

quietly hedonistically 

as a fox on a killing spree, 

gutting poultry recklessly- 

blind to the insanity 

of mining a depleted pit

to fuel a fantasy; 

the debtor might drown in the air of a shared

small space, bickering privilege merrily, 

exhaling Co2 

as sightless eyes watch

land-slides and cliffs fall into seas

of polar ice flowing in floods; 

those few, those who turn away 

and flee 

from their responsibilities to give back

deflect the blame

and lay claim to know 

for a fact – that it’s true that: 

political parties 

or personalities 

or twitter feeds 

or megan and harry

or anyone else

is spreading the  disease 

on every day TV – and virally – 

spelling the death of you and me 

and the whole of humanity –

and they’ll tell you , having no empathy,

‘it’s nothing to do with me, do you see?’


The privileged few lacking empathy

are gratitude’s greatest adversary.

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