The Gentle Ones
and. . . those that followed their doctrines
met with hatred and were killed
—Justin Martyr, about the Stoics
The gentle ones are not always the tame.
The tyrants fear truth tellers most of all:
A movement they can’t understand, a name
Unknown to them or theirs the people call.
We know the Stoics, men of discipline
And calm, who met with hatred and were killed.
When hate meets virtue, which of them will win?
When flowing movement, meaningful, is stilled,
Arrested, bent into a wrenching pose
Designed by enemies to double pain,
Your limbs not free to hold the wheel, compose
Your soul into the lines you learned again.
Recall the poems. Say, deep within, the name.
The gentle ones will never be the tame.
* * *