Wednesday, 1 February 2017

poetry 2017 / 025

Turning Cheek

I was asked
why it was so easy for me
to be polite in adversity;
to smile and say 'thank you, sir,'
when the insult hurled
had left me pierced by a hurt
hot as a boiling kettle
when there is no water left for tea.

Live through worse, I said,
cry alone in the darkness
and challenge the boys with sticks
when being Other is despised;
smile at the haters of red-hair
when what they really mean
is I hate myself;

Celebrate diversity,
smile at people on the street
offer charity to those who need it.
Listen to those who differ in opinion
or who have experience you don't.
Wear clothes of both genders
or none at all
and realise that bigots are bigots
because they are afraid of you
and what you represent,
and possess neither experience
or imagination.

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