A man pulled a gun
the other day,
said, “If you’re not for peace,
I’ll blow you away.”
I just closed my eyes,
got down on my knees.
I quietly asked him,
“May I have a moment, please.”
His response was,
“Well, that depends.
To whom do you pray
here at the end?”
I craned my neck,
and with one eye closed,
said, “To whomever will listen,
I suppose.”
He got angrier and insisted
that I pray to his deity.
I said, “No, thank you,
I have my own faith,
you see.”
“If you don’t pray to my god
then it will all be
for naught.”
“I’m afraid that’s not what I believe,
or the way I was taught.
I was taught I had free will,
and can love as I see fit.”
My interlocutor
was having none of it.
He said I was damned
and destined for hell.
I said, “In a world where
people kill for peace,
there’s little difference
that I can tell.”
We were suddenly engulfed
in a halo of blue.
I was lifted to my feet,
my abductor subdued.
I was obviously relieved
not to be dead.
I kissed two fingers and held them up,
“Peace,” was all I said.
M. Zane McClellan
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