It is not guns
It is not billy clubs
Nor is it shadow governments.
The danger doesn’t come from despots
Or mad dictators.
It is not straps or shackles
Forget the chains
Not men in black masks
There are no bars that cage us
No one is holding us down.
We can live unfettered and free in the sun, our dreams and us.
That does not mean there are not wars
But they come in on slippered feet
And sighing sympathetically
Suggesting we rest
Nodding sweetly as we place our heads onto their laps
Taking our hands off the keys
And our vision off the horizon
And turning instead
It isn’t the evil that will do us in as we seek to make the world our garden.
It is the boredom
And the despair
The empty meeting rooms
The disappointing ticket sales
The polite requests for literature
That will line the bottom of book bags
Without so much as a glance.
The fight isn’t against big business or their lobbyists
The fight is to stay undaunted
As we cancel bus reservations
And make sandwiches out of Costco rolls
It is the event insurance
That will take us down
It will be the puzzled questions from our neighbors
And the sad size of our rallies
That will do us in
When we sit there with our feet aching after an all-day event
To which only five people came
Realizing we have another two hours of clean-up
And three dozen extra bottles of water to get rid of
And your helpers have already gone home.
That’s the stuff that will get us
That will stab us
And gut us
And stop us.
Or can we decide
That’s our battle ground.
That’s where we draw the line
The sacred circle around our dreams
And cling to them as our nails tear
And our fingers bleed.
That’s where we say no
Refuse to bend
The time for heroic speeches is not in front of crowds
It is to yourself
as you pay the bills and make the calls
As you notch your rejections on your bedpost
And lift your head and clear your throat
And try again
And then again
As you wage your war
Not with weapons
But with Post-its
And not against enemies
But with your doubts.
Photo credit: Feathered Hat Studios on Pixabay