Larry J. Knight, Jr.

Rookie (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

Our Quiet Conflict


The opening salvo was a quiet one.

There were no warning signs, no open declarations,
or speeches, just the sound of nothing;
Ours is a civil war of wordlessness,
you play the north, and I play a southern fool
enslaved by my roots, unwilling to abolish my antiquated ways,
waiting, pensively for you to free me;

The boundaries, clearly marked, grow faded;
each passing day a new skirmish,
casualties add up; wounds are made,
then heal, then are made again-
a cycle of hostility in words and glances;

Politics seem pointless, conversation becomes banter;
fortified walls penetrable
collateral damage incalculable;
we never talk, we just sit
staring across a vacuum
that has consumed our will to make peace;

We spent years forging a war,
both knowing that a victor would claim no glory,
just a realized understanding of human hearts,
how they hurt, bleed;
our negotiations less than courteous,
our conferences, brutal;
no parade marched in cadence,
rockets did not explode in celebration,
only silence when you breached my last defense.

Copyright 2005 Larry J. Knight, Jr.

Submitted: Thursday, March 23, 2006
Edited: Thursday, July 08, 2010
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