upon hearing arpaio on the radio

what if it were me?

at the root of compassion
is the ability to ask that
question, over and over
and over and over again

to look in the mirror
and imagine someone
else’s face looking back,
to climb inside someone
else’s mind long enough
to ask “what if it were me?”
to entertain the possibility
of being in their place

and then
it’s not so easy
to push them away.

what if it were your parents
who came to this country,
and gave birth to you,
and worked hard for you?

what if were you
hand-cuffed and dragged
from your university dorm
room in an ICE raid
and detained?

what if it were your child
trying to bring relief to
years of the burden of
hiding and struggling?

is it really
that hard to imagine?