English poetry

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Objector

Objector

In line at lunch I cross my fork and spoon
To ward off complicity the ordered life
Our leaders have offered us. Thin as a knife,
Our chance to live depends on such a sign
While others talk and The Pentagon from the moon
Is bouncing exact commands: “Forget your faith;
Be ready for whatever it takes to win: we face
Annihilation unless all citizens get in line.”

I bow and cross my fork and spoon: somewhere
Other citizens more fearfully bow
In a place terrorized by their kind of oppressive state.
Our signs both mean, “You hostages over there
Will never be slaughtered by my act.” Our vows
Cross: never to kill and call it fate.



Poem Objector - William Stafford