I Did Not

I did not punch a Nazi today
and I am sorry
Instead I punched my keyboard
until I’d named them and shamed them
Forgive me for avoiding violence
I am not opposed
I am just too weak

I did not pepper spray a racist today 
and I am sorry
Instead I found their address on the Internet
and took their job
but they lived through that
Forgive me for not killing them
I am not opposed
It’s just not my place

I did not scalp a Klansman today
and I am sorry
Instead I learned where he lived
and shamed him to his parents
Forgive me for not letting his blood
I am not opposed
It’s just not within my strength

I did what I could today
and stood up to my father
My uncle
My brother and sister
when they spouted evil and sounded evil
I carved them from my life
and it hurt like a death though I survived
Forgive me for this weakness
I am not opposed
I am merely lonely enough without them
to have hesitated

Forgive me for the Nazis 
the Whitelords and the Proud Boys
I am not a steel enough wall to save us from them
or from their furious stymied anger
Instead I reflect on how I made them happen
by apologizing and doing little to stop them

I am game to admit they are my fault
and that I’m not enough to finish what I started

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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