I must demand a certain level
of willingness for war
from myself.

If I am to call myself
alive, I must be game
to fight for life,

to strike and cut as needed,
not only for myself
but for those uncertain

as to their worthiness
for life, for those reduced
from full to half or less.

I do not ask this 
of all.  I do not even ask this
of myself at all times;

there are moments when
I sit in darkness, afraid,
thinking only of pain,

of being carved
or shot or beaten; not so much
of death, as I am long ago

resigned to that and just wise enough
not to believe I am destined to be
the first immortal. There are moments

when even a shrunken freedom
seems too precious
to lose, and I sit

and hoard my selfish life;
then comes clarity
that spites my fear:

I was born a weapon,
there are wars 
worth fighting,

and the drum I hear
isn’t my heart,
is not even inside me.


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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