I Bow Only To the Facts

by Eric Chaet

I bow only to the glorious & savage physical facts
& the the fact that everyone cries as a baby
then struggles against anxiety & for power
deceiving &, so, disabling themselves—
coercing others, or coerced, or both.

I don’t bow to those who would punish me
for trying to become stronger & more effective—
subtly insinuating, belittling, slandering
or withholding acknowledgement or resources
if I won’t make myself part of the machine they’re part of
or obliterating me if I won’t subordinate myself to them.

I bow only to the glorious & savage physical facts
& to babies’ cries & everyone’s struggles
some with more, some with less
suffering, fame, fortune, understanding, self-command—
til they die, or bow to others’ superior strength.

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