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The Freedom to Decide

acquiescent
throughout centuries
mere spectators
watching men
strut across
the stage of life...

A long parade
as heroes, saints
worthy men
whose cause was just
joined hands in a masquerade
with every scoundrel,
renegade
genius or tainted fool
played to a docile audience
unable to withstand persistence
the volume of the chorus grew
all men combined in their insistence
we, alone, were born to rule.

Down the ages
many were deceived
paying heavy penalties
till, at last, against the tide
rescue came, so long denied
a few stood up, those few stood fast
the barrage came from far and wide
from audience and cast alike
so gradually was it perceived
that their harsh and vehement tones
screamed a fundamental truth
...Do not only seek protection
Seek your freedom to decide.

Beginning
my own journey
down the valley of the years
unaware i carried this heritage of fears
I wandered in a forest
filled with man-made snares

Then
I grew in understanding
when so many proved their worth
watching younger women
pulling up their blinds
blazing new-found courage
into older minds
vindicating centuries
of ignominious defeat
freed us from the heavy yoke
the need to look behind
emerging from the shadows
of their pent-up strain
their voices sound less strident
a more confident refrain
which future generations
will continue to repeat

...Do not demand surrender
no chance must be denied
throughout our lives
we need, like you,
true freedom to decide