Pep Talk, Summer 2000

By Michael Brandt

No one will drop a bomb on my house today
no one will hand me an eviction notice
no one will make a slave of my daughter, or
kill my son because of his appearance.

I will not go hungry today
I will not have insufficient funds
I will not risk my life in order to vote, or
my pension by speaking truth to power.

No one will bully me today
no one will dismiss me as too young or too old
no one will demean the heroism of my ancestors, or
even think of addressing me with a slur.

I will not be triaged today
I will not suffer in the company of strangers
I will not be deported, or
see my dreams turned to smoke.

No one will crush my soul today
no one will make me feel helpless
no one will ignite my darkest instincts, or
induce me to posture as a victim.

I will not accept the way things are today
I will not retire behind a barricade of privilege
I will not deny my place in the social fabric, or
despair the smallness of that thread.

Michael Brandt’s musings have appeared sporadically across a spectrum of Midwestern news and special interest publications. He is privileged to share a ridge top in Arena with his wife, Janet, and their large hound Thule.