Thay’s Poem

me , promise me today, 
promise me now, 
with the sun at the top 
right at the zenith, 
promise me: 
even if you are overcome 
with a mountain of violence and hatred, 
even if they step on you and crush you 
like a worm, 
even if they break you and disembowel, 
you will remember, brother, you will 
that man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion: 
invincible, unlimited, unconditional. 
Hate will never let you face the beast in man.

And one day, when you face this beast alone, 
with your courage intact, your eyes calm, 
full of kindness, (although no one can see them), 
your smile 
will be born a flower.

And those who love 
you will be contemplating 
you through ten thousand worlds of birth and death.

Alone again, I will 
walk with my head bowed 
knowing that love is now eternal. 
On the long and hard road, 
the sun and the moon 
will continue to shine.

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