May We Be Brought Back to Mercy

Mercy is our supreme virtue for it is an echo of the essence of God.
So tells us St. Thomas Aquinas.

No more meals on wheels
No free school lunches
No heat for the poor
No healthcare for those without money
No regulations to spare kids lead-laced water and poisoned air
No living wage for those who struggle to make ends meet

No peace of mind for Mexican families.

Maribel Trujillo Diaz
Mother of four
Torn from them and deported to Mexico
No belongings, no clothing, no passport.
Fifteen years of harming no one
Working, praying, mothering.
But she broke the law when she fled the drug gangs
Who had kidnapped her father and her brother.

Pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears.

The “law and order” president
(What an irony that is)
And his henchmen
View charity as weakness.
They tell us as that breaking the law is all that matters.

But, as St. Thomas reminds us,
The legal question-“justice”-is just the start of reflection, not the end,
For that is precisely where the stirrings
Of the compassionate heart must enter.
Without mercy justice is cruel, he tells us.
But more, it readily serves the powerful
Who wish to rationalize inhumanity.

“Mami,” I made your bed for you,”
Daniella, who is 3 and suffers from epilepsy,
Says to her mother over the phone,
“When are you going to get home to sleep?”

Since Maribel, more, so many more.

We have seen worlds without mercy before.
And the darkness spreading over this one warns
That there are those who would again extinguish
The light of the divine in us.

Maelynn Avery is a psychotherapist and former literature professor who has increasingly found an outlet in creative writing for her reactions to the outrages of the Trump era. Read other articles by Maelynn.