Saber Rattling

Saber Rattling

Dedicated to my Uncle Phillip (front row center in this 2015 family reunion photo), whose pain I share even when our politics diverge.

You hear tell
of family divided
against family,
taking up weapons,
joining opposing armies,
taking aim (!)
at their own kin:
spilling blood
just a few generations
downriver
from those joined by love.

We aren’t there
yet,
not in my family, at least.
But some weeks
the saber rattling
on social media
cuts deep.

I wonder,
is kinship yet capable
of inspiring us
to build bridges,
or—
like so many in our nation,
will we go on choosing
to rattle sabers,
hurls words,
and take aim (!)
at the humanity
of those
whose blood we share.

Somebody benefits from
all this saber rattling,
but I daresay
it’s not anyone
in my family,
and most likely,
not in yours either.

I say, invest in bridges.

drw 08.20.2017

 

Back story: Political views in my extended family range from far right to far left. More than once Facebook posts have become lightning rods for vitriol. Posts about events in Charlottesville were no exception. Saturday afternoon, pained by several posts and the comment threads beneath them, Phillip called for a one-week moratorium on political posts by family members. I’m not sure that will help, but I hear (and share) his pain. Hence, this poem.

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