I wrote this in reaction to oft heard utterances that suggest that those who live/lived under dictators somehow were sleepwalking as the dictators took and held power and thus were deserving of those dictators… I have been writing and re-writing this for such a long time now, because it is painful to see the world repeating the same mistakes, over and over and over. But we are children of time… And we forgot that monsters often come with smiling faces. They come offering us gifts. Monsters that come snarling and foaming at the mouth only exist in children’s fairy tales. Most monsters come to us with honeyed tongues and only gradually draw back the mask to reveal their faces. But we should know when we see them. Because we have seen them before. And I think… we will see them again. We see them now.

We who have lived under dictators

Did not see them coming

Each time.

How much worse it is

For those who think

It could never happen

To them?

We who have lived under dictators

Did not believe that

It could happen again.

How much worse it is

For those who think

Dictators impossible

For them?

We who lived under dictators

Tasted the metal edge of fear

Smelt the stench of blood in the streets

Walked alongside dread

And despair knocked on our doors

When the rain washed it all away

We said, ‘never again’

Every where, ‘never again’

Fell asleep saying, ‘never again’

As they walked back

Through the open door.

We who have lived under dictators

Did not see them coming

Each time.

How much worse it is

For you…

You who think

It could never

Ever

Ever

Ever

Happen

To You?

Watch your open door

Here they come

Smiling faces

Bearing gifts

Honeyed tongues

Dark hearts

Just like ours

Just like ours.

Here they come

Again.

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