to live with a gun to their heads

Inside the Amazon rainforest, Amazonas State, ...
Image by JorgeBRAZIL via Flickr

i ask,
what is it that keeps them going?
when they walk their lives,
having guns to their heads,
each day when they wake up in the morning,
and do their menial routines,
meet friends on the streets,
send their kids off to school,
just like all mortals do,
show love to their wives or husbands,
tend to those who are needy,
to live a life that dream dreams,
make enough to feed their families,
I wonder how they sleep at night,
to have the knowledge that,
at any given moment,
when they least expect it,
the trigger could go off,
at any given moment,
gone just like that,
in just a split second?
and yet no one would care,
because for these folks,
spoke about things of importance,
but not for those in the government,
who care more for paper,
stuff to fill empty pockets,
but whose pockets were empty?
except for those poor and needy.

i ask,
is it worth it?
to lose your life fighting a system,
that seems to keep winning?
make sacrifices to keep forests intact,
only to have people,
running tabs,
paying bounty hunters,
to slaughter your voice becoming,
something of a thorn,
in the side,
of those who live as though they don’t seem to care,
but for them to act in a particular way,
in hating the very utterance of your tone,
guilt must be a constant nagging,
and to silence their conscience from constant reverberating
pay to end it from its continual ringing.

i ask,
is it worth it?
and your voice keeps telling me,
“I’ll keep fighting. It won’t do it to give up.”
but then until when?
“Until awareness is awakened,
and people see,
their worth,
and what they were meant to till for just needs,
become the very conviction,
to kill of this greed,
before it in turn,
pulls the trigger,
to the future,
the lifeblood of all our seeds.”

Note: This poem is inspired by the story of  two environmental activist who were gunned down for their efforts in speaking against deforestation done to Amazon rain forest. I am marveled by their perseverance even in the face of knowing that death awaits them on every corner. Other activists also live in the same condition as if breathing their lives in the constant threat of having a gun to their heads.

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