Changing Currents

Speak your mind.
No, wait, don’t speak your mind.
Speak your heart,
your soul,
your God-fearing upbringing,
and even your worst nightmares.

Trepidation is coating our tongues
and loosening our will to speak
up to and for our neighbors,
our childhoods,
our need for others to listen to our words.

We are none of us
heroes or villains.
We are survivors of a time
when survivors are still victims,
a time that seeks to alienate
those who wish for nothing
more than to move forward.

But they are not allowed
such luxuries as closure and healing.
No, their fellow survivors—
you, me, the man pruning
the hedges two houses down—
are themselves too busy
being caught in the amber
to afford a moment
of speech,
of advocacy,
of hope
for a nation and people
to look not for someone to blame,
but someone to encourage.

A house divided
is no longer a house,
a Senate,
or a government.

It is no longer
the mighty eagle
but rather a wren,
lost and alone,
searching for the nest
in which it once found refuge
and assurance that each dawn
brought a new
chance to soar.

We don’t have to agree,
and probably need will,
but there are no heroes or villains
when we choose to fly together.


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