NPM: Garden of Fear

We all live in a garden
Tended and cultivated by a specialized class
Of gardener—the media
Tells us everything about everything
Or at least something about everything
If not the entire truth
And for some reason
In these last days
The gardeners have decided
To cultivate fear
To sink its roots deep into our soil
Its tendrils to cling to every structure
To climb its way up the lattices of our homes
And of our hearts
Fed and watered by the daily reports
Of violence and terror
Nourished by the idea of those who are Other
That anyone who is not Us is Them
And They should not be tolerated or trusted
We smell the fragrance of those flowers
We breathe it deep
Until we no longer recognize the heady perfume
Of paranoia and hate
But I swear to you
That I will sow a new seed
Among the fear-flowers
Clandestinely scattering here and there
The small mustard-seeds of faith
And from them will sprout the tiny bell-like
Flowers of hope, that when crushed
Release an aroma stronger than fear
Lovelier than hate
Because I will no longer live in a garden
Where I have forgotten all that is good
And pure and true. We have not lost it.
I will not lose it.
Hope is rooted deep in the soil of my soul.
I will not let that flower wither.
I will not.