like talking to 398w - April 1, 2015s

author’s note:

I remember a young woman who was frustrated because she could not serve in the armed forces…

I wish I would have told her: there are many ways for you to serve your country.


I wrote a poem to our rulers
telling them:

you brag about what
you’ve done for us
but forget

what we’ve done for you—

that position isn’t your birthright
that power is only on loan–!

I didn’t expect
a sincere response
I merely wanted to voice
my pain—

to proclaim:

though you throw me
and my many unknown
sisters and brothers
into the valley of all
you wish to ignore…

in the darkness we will grow.

We’re willing to wait, in the dark

because we know the tide
will eventually rise

and that tide will be a flood.

In the aftermath, who will clean up?

We will!

We’ll know how
because down in the valley
we’re teaching ourselves
the ways and means of cleaning—

in the dark, we’re learning how to shine.

In the dark, one can hear the heart

so, despite your neglect
we will stand up, ready to serve…

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Soultime: the novel