Social Justice Poetry

Jessica Wiseman Lawrence

The Hierophant | A Social Justice Poem by Jessica Wiseman Lawrence

A crowd of kneelers is before him, and I watch him from behind
their bowed backs. He raises his hand as an object of heaven.
He does not like the world changing.
They get married young.
They save every un-tithed penny, even if it
means no shoes for the children and most meals out of cans.
Their big neighborhood houses have big neighborhood mortgages.
to go with them. The people who follow the
rules tend to be unhappy.
They become defiant and cruel.
Because the Hierophant said “Be good, follow me, and you
will live a righteous life,” his followers told the world they were
persecuted. Then they took turns throwing
their empty cans at the homeless people
who hold up cardboard signs and stand
in the medians all around this wealthy, picture-perfect,
God-fearing town