And to Think

And to think how easily
I could have become
another " darling of the academy."
One of those poets
anthologized, applauded
and admired,
for speaking so eloquently
of the poor-
for championing those causes
that they've never lived.
Elegantly coiffed
with gleaming teeth
and a fresh manicure,
what would I have known
of hunger, torture, homelessness?
Instead, I choose to remain
true to my art,
to bleed for integrity
a prisoner of conscience,
like Armando Valladares,
broken bodied
writing from his wheelchair.
Or- like Miklos Radnoti,
whose most stunning verse
was exhumed with his body,
found tucked away
in a small notebook
in his coat pocket.
I choose to be
like those who,
though lashed by cruelty
and by violence,
through their lines
shout, "We matter!"
"We exist!"
Who prove that indeed,
the pen is mightier
than the sword.

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