Bitter Lessons

by Eric Chaet

Stubbornly, I would not seize
opportunities that weren’t the ones I sought.

Integrity, idealism, courage real enough—
but, also, covers for refusing
to know what I feared to face—
so, even while I made great efforts
I excused my fundamental sloth.

Years & decades go by—less & less commerce
with those whose enterprises I disdained—
nearly all unaware I still live, or ever lived.

I hope I have remaining time & health to apply
the understanding I’ve distilled from my opponents’
(whose principle is never to deliver except for gain)
each one’s war-plan, no willingness to coordinate
or need—revealed by attacks that might have
but didn’t kill me—their unintended gift.


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