Yes, I hear you.
No need to shout.
I know you thought that you had lost your voice
Or that we had all gone deaf
When you stood on your soap box preaching
And no one stopped to say, “Amen,”
Like they used to.
Your voice is just as loud now as it’s ever been,
Even if it echoes a little bit less.
And yes, I know that just because he stood beside you
In a matching T-shirt
Doesn’t mean that you are anything like him.
And even though you raised your arms and flags in salute,
Evoking the most famous genocide of all time,
You never meant for anyone to get hurt.
It’s not your fault.
“And didn’t you see them?” you want to know.
“Didn’t you see the hatred burning on their angry faces?
They weren’t all peaceful.”
Yes, that was wrong, too.
And even though what you are “fighting” against
Is my own flesh and blood,
And their right to a future in your country,
It isn’t fair for me to get defensive.
You deserve the benefit of the doubt.
You are right, I should choose my words carefully
While trying to sort out who is inside and who is outside
The circle of blame.
(And who is safe.)
Of course, I understand
How you must feel uncomfortable
When I talk about the dangers of someone
But my words today are not for you.
I need one moment to speak freely
And I am tired of stepping around your delicate ego.