The Slovaks called it the gentle revolution

and so it must have been – flowers for fists –

not a fair exchange but courageous

as Androcles is what I think when I meet

some of these gentle revolutionaries

turned teacher and barkeep. I can only imagine

the confusion preconception;

dreaming in color then handed a life

in black and white. How does one make

the best of that kind of worst of it ?

Decades of shallow breathing then a wall falls

and suddenly anything is possible ?

Of course it is much simpler and more

complicated than that … but afterward,

after the protests, after the gathering kindred

masses, what must it have been like,

at home, free to name love, free to discuss

redecorating the whole human race …