It is one thing to say
“he hit me”
another to say
“I was hit by him”
another to say
“I let him hit me”
and still another to say
“he might hit me”

But having been hit
and now sprawled out on the floor
I can choose
to stay down
to get up and fight back
or to just get up and let him
hit me again.

But the calculus changes
it rearranges
when all of a sudden
he strikes my son.
He strikes my son
and my boy is down
face in the ground.
Do I just stand there
with my hands in the air?
Do I dare?

Do I dare do differently?

Do I take up the sword?
Do I fight for my world?
How hard do I fight?
How long do I fight?
How much blood do I need
to wash the mud from the knees
and face of my boy?

Or do I tell him to stand?
just to stand
to hold the line
time after time?

Do I ask him to make the same sacrifice I have
when he’s only 5?
or 6?
or 7?

Oh Lord,
how dear you’ve made the price of peace.