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.