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Why do we wait for peace (Poem)

Why do we wait for peace?

We’ve suffered through tragedy
and we’ve walked through hell
we’ve tasted bitter tears on our lips
and cast coins into wishing wells

We’ve cashed checks too light
and paid bills that are too heavy
we’ve built walls to protect the homestead
and were flooded out when rivers broke their levy

We’ve worn boots of a solider
badges of the cop
we’ve been in stripes, been in chains,
been in some awful tight spots

We’ve danced at weddings
and wept for the dead
we’ve wished a goodnight’s sleep
upon a child, a lover, or an aged parent’s head.

We’ve born the whip
and we’ve been set free
we’ve worshiped at houses of the Lord
and sang a version of, Nearer my God to thee.

We’ve been taxed to death
worked our fingers to the bone
made love at a moment’s notice
when with a lover, we found ourselves alone

And yet, AND YET, we cannot see
is that I belong to you and you belong to me
if not by family, those strong ties that bind
but in our own humanity shared by all of humankind

Black, white, yellow, these things are hues
and for neither hyphen nor station
should any man be made to sing the blues
Nor for religion, nor arbitrary thing
because baby, at the end of the day
you’re still a human being

We’ve all been made to wander
our forty days and forty nights
we’ve all been made to struggle
our souls reaching for the light

No imaginary boundary will save you from the end
no faith, nor creed, nor wealth of wisdom will stay the hand of death
from dust you arose and to dust you will return
and with you goes everything you’ve ever done, everything you’ve ever learned

For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for us
and if every man made machine turns red with rust
and if mankind’s life ends for the blind, the seeing, and deaf
why do we refuse peace in our life, our childrens lives, our neighbors lives, our fellow countrymen’s lives, we will all otherwise intimately get to know
in death?

Why do we wait for peace, this state of grace
Why do we deny it to others simply for their race?
Why do we deny it to ourselves, for we too are made to suffer
For when we hate for simply hates sake
We linger in perpetual fear and can give peace to no other.

It is a cyclical ride we humans ride
A rollercoaster that never stops, a merry go round of knives
Why do we wait for peace we wait because we’re afraid
Afraid someone will get over on us
So we take any hope of peace, directly to our grave.

It’s greed that makes up linger in spaces Angels fear to trod
its fear that keeps us separated from other children of God
its retribution, its rage that keeps the blood flowing
and it’s those things that keep us from the Divine, the Merciful, the All knowing

Peace comes when we begin to let go
Peace comes like a gentle fall of snow and in the quiet spaces
in our hearts humanity is restored
Its when we discover our worth, we pick ourselves up from off the floor.

Its easy these days to pray and to give thoughts
its harder these days to be where the change starts
its easy to lecture, to point, to criticize
its hard to listen, to step back and see the world through foreign eyes

Why do we wait for peace?
These things I may never know
This place hidden beneath pains unyielding sorrow
like a garden under veils of winter’s snow
It’s a state of glory we all wish we could be
So Our Father Who Art in Heaven, no more waiting
Let this peace, begin with me.


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