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Poem: The Faceless Enemy

The Faceless Enemy

by Jonathan Kraft

In memory of those who lost their lives in Boston yesterday…
and the families and loved ones most deeply feeling that loss

You come faceless
You come to take
You come to take our hope
You come to leave us in the darkness

Who are you, that we might have known you?
Who are you, that we might have reached you?
Who are you, that something could have been done…

Something… other than this.

You’ve changed the world, no doubt.
But for just a moment.

You’ve ruined lives
of people who never knew you.
You’ve re-written family histories.
Individual family histories…
but you’ve done nothing great.
You’ve committed no great act.
You’ve simply destroyed a few.

Was that your goal?

Do you know that the world will forget you?
Even when they discover who you are…
You will be long forgotten.

You will not be Shakespeare
You will not be Ghandi.
You will not be Mozart.
You will not be Mother Theresa.
You will not be Einstein.
You will not be Mandela.
You simply will not be.
You will cease to be.

You will only go by one name –
The same name all others like you
have gone by before…
You will go by the name of fear.

You will be the one
who was too afraid…
too afraid to face the real enemy
with courage

You will be the one
too afraid to reach the crowd
with perseverance

You will be the one
too afraid to be.

Instead, you chose to “act as if”
You chose to pretend you were doing something
You chose to act like your act was real
and meant something.

Instead of filling the space with something…
You chose not to be
You chose to hide your face
You chose to not be present
You chose to be an absent void

Those whom you’ve attacked today
they are not your enemy.

But you must feel so much hurt
and anger against your perceived enemy
to cause what you’ve caused today

I’m sorry for your hurt.
I’m sorry for your pain.

Clearly, you have abilities.

And you could have been
so much more.

But you will be forgotten
And your name will be lost forever.
And all you will have created
is wreckage.

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