Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Declaration of Independence



author's note:

Around every Fourth of July, I revisit this poem.

Full disclosure: I'm not always able to live up to these words.


DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

I'll be damn if I'll be terrorized
by anyone

including me--

I have looked into the mirror
and seen how mean I've been
to myself.

If I can face that monster
why should I cower
before those who lack
the courage to look
into their own reflections?

When they bombard me
my legs may tremble
but I won't jump--
no, I'll pirouette in triumph:
my dance will be my revenge!

Though they curse me to hell
I won't curse them--
after all
I know the wounds
of their hellacious suffering.

On the other hand
I can't sincerely bless them to heaven:

I haven't yet healed myself
to that degree of empathy.

However
I have stopped
and stopped
and stopped
my monster from mirroring
their vitriolic violence

and maybe that's blessing enough.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
My War for Peace: a poetry book

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