The Adversary

There are those who say,
do not succumb to despair 
in these days. Do not
hold the Adversary in contempt,
offer love in your heart, try to 
listen, try to understand

how their arsenic nation
was founded, how they closed
its borders and were shocked
to find us, terrified and confused,
within the walls. Wisdom, they say,
use your wisdom 
and keep compassion

for how threatened 
the Adversary feels these days, how
the bloom is off their funereal rose,
how they see the sky as a casket lid coming down
even as we have begun to dance
under our suddenly visible moon. Love them,
say some, honor their shaky hold on things

for we should know what it must feel like
to see the walls closing in after the grand history
of their fortress Earth. And then what —
as they crush us, do we offer them a kiss?
Look into the Adversary’s teeth and say,

so fine and pointy, so ready and built to rend?
There are those who say, we need to come together
and those who say we need to find common ground
with the Adversary: when their teeth come together
should we offer ourselves to be gnawed
in the common ground of their maw?

No.  No. Am not fodder, am not
ready for this.  I will not succumb to despair
but neither will I turn and open my arms
to the Adversary as they snarl into movement,
heavy limbs crunching live ground as they march.
No.  No.  You may offer compassion
but I will keep mine for my children, my land,
my own dance below my moon. My wisdom
for defense; my hand for any necessary blow;
my arm, weak or strong, for the War.

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

One response to “The Adversary

  • Eileen

    Trying to understand other viewpoints, doesn’t mean giving up your own. It actually gives you a better chance to also be heard across the differences.
    Demonizing and deifying are both destructive to any sort of understanding and hope for a reasonable outcome.

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