Civility War

It’s an evil snake that crawls 
between us and takes up the 
space we didn’t know existed,
that turns you left, me right, 
with our guns pointed at 
him, at it, at each other. 

It’s a vicious smoke that rises
into our nostrils, fills our lungs with
free-based gratification, makes 
us high on self-righteousness. We
exhale noxious fumes into faces
we say we love.

It’s a vile ideology that turns us
on each other, makes an up seem 
down, makes a fall seem elevating,
sends us packing, locked and loaded
brother on brother, sister on sister.

Haven’t we been here? Haven’t we turned
on each other before? Haven’t we gassed
and lynched and nailed to crosses those
we decided to hate? Is this a never-
ending war we’ve all agreed to wage?

And now I feel the snake against my skin,
the toke in my lungs, the rhetoric in my
brain like pinballs of sound bites, and I
wonder if doing justice and loving mercy
can ever be simultaneous acts. 

It’s one thing to agree not to spit on your
brother. It’s another altogether to agree
not to spit on the one who spits on your

It’s yet another still to balance the
world on your back while you learn
to walk humbly with your god. 

© 2020 Deborah E. Moore, All Rights Reserved