For the dverse prompt. I used to be an activist, defender of poor, minorities, worker’s rights, women’s rights, but the cacophony has grown too loud, too insincere, too many causes spitting on the cause in the next street.
I will not pick a cause and howl injustice
while abusing those who disagree,
I will not defend a man just because he is black
if he treats his wife like a punchbag,
or a woman just because she is a woman
if she holds down her daughter
to take the excision knife,
or a kid just because he’s had few chances,
if he murders a woman because she’s a Jew.
I will not make a pecking order
of grievances for human kind;
let them learn that respect for each is the only way.
I will defend the voiceless,
the trees, the birds, the slaughterhouse meat,
the homeless of the jungles,
the tuskless elephants, bulls bleeding in the arena,
badger and fox cubs thrown to hounds,
the victims of our barbarity,
and I’ll tell you why:
because they know respect and loyalty
and their form of love, courage, and generosity.
They know no cruelty, no genocide,
no slavery or misogyny or the refinements of torture.
I will speak for those who have no guilt,
for those who pay the price of our inhumanity.