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Thursday, January 19, 2012

One For the Baron

by David Madgalene

In WWI

if they shot you down

they would fly by later

toss flowers inscribed

"To a Honorable and Chivalrous Foe."

If you were wounded

they’d sneak into the hospital

at great personal risk

bring you gifts chat you up

you honorable and chivalrous foe.

It's too bad

people no longer respect

nor have compassion

for their enemies.

It could be there are no more

honorable and chivalrous foes.

Or is it that we’re not so honorable

and chivalrous anymore ourselves?

My enemy,

may I refuse to demonize you

nor may I ever lose sight of your humanity

and your basic human right to exist

and to believe as you see fit, even should

we not agree and our viewpoints draw us

into conflict.

My enemy, you have just as

much right to a good life for yourself and

your children as do I. May I never make you a

mere scapegoat onto which to transfer the shadow

material that I cannot accept in myself.

Let there be respect for my enemies,

and let it begin with me.