At the Base of the Tower

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tyrants learn to climb a ladder
stepping on the hands below,
thinking status gained will matter
in a human puppet show.

Sycophants advance by reaching
wildly for the boots above,
spurred into a frenzy, screeching
epithets devoid of love.

Bullies on the ground are spreading
lies to bring the ladder down,
instigating chaos, shredding
decency from base to crown.

All of us approach the spire
bearing scars that touch the core;
none are standing any higher
than the people we abhor.

Marching next to truth revealers
labeled neither “Ours” nor “Theirs”,
let me be among the healers
on a stronger set of stairs.



2019 Mary Boren
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Sandbox Shadows


He looms, Colossus-like, beside the gate,
appearing larger than he’ll ever be.
He’s just a puffed-up playground potentate,
a page in self-repeating history.

He never lacks for awestruck underlings
who’ll vie to hold his coat, or for a crowd
to view experiments with insect wings
and laugh at little girls who cry out loud.

The lucky children later go to bed
in loving homes where comfort is reward
and wonder what it meant when Daddy said,
“They’d rather be despised than be ignored.”

And in the silent depths where shadows reap
a toll, the bully cries himself to sleep.



2001 Mary Boren
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