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Fighting (Ted A. Richard-Church Point, LA & Louis Toliver Jr-Swartz, LA)


"Fighting" 

Through the calm of the midnight air
I can feel the torture of faint whispering.
Then soon the whispers develop a life of their own.
The whispers become louder and I can feel that
Something big is about to happen.
Yes, it’s definitely a storm!
And I anxiously sit and wait for the “main event”
I’ve got front row seats from my front porch window.
It’s the mighty oak trees fighting the wind,
It’s the newly blossomed iris fighting for water,
It’s the robin red-breasts fighting for its young,
And it’s the swift current fighting the tides.
I had never realized that fighting could be so silent.

But I choose to fight for my life and yours loudly
It’s the suffering of poor families fighting for food and shelter,
It’s the innocent children kept alive; fighting to be killed slowly by politics,
It’s the boy fighting to be a girl and the girl fighting to be a boy
It’s the voiceless majority fighting to be heard

I am no longer sitting on my porch watching
I am now in the “ring”
I am in the midst of the storm!
This storm!
It’s happening!
The whispers turn to screams and the storm is severe
This fight around me isn’t just for nature but for humans too
The screams are fierce and they are led by me
Through the turbulence of the roaring air

But at least I’m fighting!
And I now realize that I am central to my own survival.
It’s “sink or swim”
Or “survival of the fittest”.
The mighty oak knows it,
The blossoming iris knows it,
The robin red-breast knows it,
 And the rolling waves know it too!

And  I’m still fighting!
Because I now realize that I am also central to your survival.
It’s “build or destroy”
Not “every man for himself” ; but every man for his community
The poor families know it,
The innocent children know it,
The boy and the girl know it,
 And the voiceless majority knows it too!

And it takes me a minute to realize that
 The fight that I have within me is
Stronger than the energy trying to hold me back.
So I keep fighting!
Until I think I can’t fight anymore.

And then I keep fighting!
Because I can’t be “knocked out”
Torn down and ripped apart by
Wind , drought, hunger and floods,
Nor by
Homelessness, politics, discrimination and rejection!

And I am still fighting;
Silencing the thunder and whispering the wind.

Then I can once again feel the
Impassioned embrace of the calm midnight air.

I have survived the storm.

I am at peace!

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