Nonchalance in the face of kind rejection is the better part

Of valor: not pressing the attack or retreating at speed

And screaming, neither arguing that the person turning

Away from me, turning me away, is my enemy (she is not)

Nor misguided (though she obviously is) but accepting

That everyone who is not gunning for me is potentially

My ally. Ally: what a loaded word. It can mean so many

Things: not enemy, but not one of us either. I was an ally

Not long ago. Not in the fight, not on either side.

A cheering section busy looking at my nails:

Sign a survey, mark off a ballot, send in a check,

Fly a flag of truce and bank their money.

Now I realize how much more is required: a hand,

A shoulder, a willingness to walk not just the one mile,

But two or ten. Closeness cures myopia: big surprise.

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