The Requirement
by David Adès

It is so easy
to fall
into the relentless gravitational pull of hatred,

to strike the flint of grief
and set fire to the air
until there is a rain of cinders
and the world is charred and blackened.

It is so easy
to fall
towards an event horizon

that extinguishes light —
the dancing light behind eyes,
the lightness of heart and feet,
the incredible lightness of being —

instead of
standing upright
amidst the carnage, the conflagration,

extending a hand, extending a voice,
being a pillar, being a bridge,
being an unblinking light —
that is where courage resides,

where we reclaim aspiration,
where we reclaim our humanity.
That is the requirement.

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