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Prophet of a Lesser Age

He sits square-framed and lies to me
With words of hatred and deceit.
He speaks of honesty and truth
As if they were unwanted foreigners
And talks of war with pride.

He wants me to kill, he says
It is only right,
It is our duty.
We have no need to fear, he says.
Then why am I afraid?

He talks so easily of the hell of war,
Of destruction, of others deaths,
Of the faceless enemy.
He talks of hate, he talks of evil,
He talks of suffering for his cause.

But I want peace
And he will not give it,
But I want love
And he cannot see it,
But I want freedom
And he doesn’t understand it.

Am I then an enemy?
Am I then to be imprisoned?
Am I then to be tortured?
Is my cause so wrong?
Then why does it seem so right?

Oh, answer me these questions
You square-framed man.
Answer me with honesty,
Help me understand,
Why I cannot love.
And yet I know you hate me
As you hated all the others
Who came before me.
But as I go to die now,
I do not fear you, I pity you.

You square-framed man…

17/01/1990

© 2018, Adrian North. All rights reserved.

Published inLifePoemSociety

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