Victims,
children. Women. Girls. Boys. Nieces. Sisters. Brothers. Nephews. Friends. Colleagues. Wives. Husbands.

Predators,
fathers. Brothers. Nephews. Uncles. Grandfathers. Colleagues. Engineers. Priests. Doctors. Maulanas. Lawyers. Pandits. Artists. Rabbis. Politicians. Librarians.

Innocence desecrated,
childhoods ravaged,
lives torn apart,
dreams broken.

Yet,

still we hide,
behind the flimsy veneer of ‘respectability’,
as we pray and preach and buy and sell and enjoy our obligatory vacations.

But,
we are nothing.

Impotent.

Complicit.

Guilty by inaction.

Hushed spectators,
of an endless parade of innocence stripped,
of dignity ripped,
of whiskey sipped,

while,

our innocents condemn us with their hollowed blank eyes.

So,

when will we slip out of our designer skins,
our glistening automobiles,

the cologne-filled lounges, heaving dinner-tables,
pretty homes, marble table-tops,

prettier gardens,
our lost humanity and our loud self-righteousness,
innured minds and our buzzing televisions,
stock-options, time-shares by the coast,

all the while witnessing the spirits of innocence turn,
around and around,
impaled by skewers on a slow roast.

When will we wake up from our collective slumber,
our un-postponeable feast,
the spectacle of betrayal by neglect.

We should,

soon.

For the victims continue to condemn us with their hollow,
pleading eyes