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Learning

A piccolo played, then a drum.
Feet began to come – a part of the music.  Here comes a horse,
clippety clop, away.

My mother said, “Don’t run –
the army is after someone
other than us.  If you stay
you’ll learn our enemy.”

Then he came, the speaker.  He stood
in the square.  He told us who
to hate.  I watched my mother’s face,
its quiet.  “That’s him,” she said.

– William Stafford
More about Stafford, a WW II conscientious objector, here.

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