I will not be filled with hate.
I can feel it hurtling towards me, heated by the fire of your tiki torches, trumpeted by the chanting of your racist slogans, engraved in the photographs of your snarling faces.
It ravages; fueled by the husks of dark history built into this country’s foundation, a wildfire sparked by the wheels of Ares’ chariot. Its restless desire to engulf everyone in its path a feeble attempt to burn out loneliness and fear.
But I will not be your comrade-in-arms. This is my life, my body, my heart, and yes this is my country and I will not be filled with your hate.
Let your aggression fuel my kindness.
Let your blindness open my eyes.
Let your fear of change feed my fear of repeating my ancestors mistakes.
Let your covered ears expose where I am still deaf.
Let every time you put someone down remind me to push someone up.
Let every person you leave behind drive me to further open my embrace.
Let your every act of hatred inspire in me an act of kindness.
I can feel the heat of your hate licking at my heart, enticing me to succumb. Its fire burns bright and fierce and hot, destroying everything in its path. But I will not let your hate destroy my heart. I will not be filled with hate.
The warmth of compassion is gentler and harder to hear, but it is a fire that gives life instead of taking it. It is a Hearth that will stand strong once you have burned everything around you to the ground.
Let your hate fuel my compassion and then let it pass me by.
A poem for Heather D Heyer, “who was killed by a terrorist in Charlottesville, Virginia as she protested Neo-Nazism and white supremacy.”
And for Heather’s mother who said, “I don’t want her death to be a focus for more hatred, I want her death to be a rallying cry for justice and equality and fairness and compassion.”