The Birthday Of The World

By Marge Piercy

On the birthday of the world
I begin to contemplate
what I have done and left
undone, but this year
not so much rebuilding
 
of my perennially damaged
psyche, shoring up eroding
friendships, digging out
stumps of old resentments
that refuse to rot on their own.
 
No, this year I want to call
myself to task for what
I have done and not done
for peace. How much have
I dared in opposition?
 
How much have I put
on the line for freedom?
For mine and others?
As these freedoms are pared,
sliced and diced, where
 
have I spoken out? Who
have I tried to move? In
this holy season, I stand
self-convicted of sloth
in a time when lies choke
 
the mind and rhetoric
bends reason to slithering
choking pythons. Here
I stand before the gates
opening, the fire dazzling
 
my eyes, and as I approach
what judges me, I judge
myself. Give me weapons
of minute destruction. Let
my words turn into sparks.
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