The Enemy Within

By Gayla Nelson, 2003

Published in the Gamut, April 2003

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We believe our beliefs and therefore

we are Us.

And they believe their beliefs

and therefore, they are Them.

Don’t need orange alert

to know the threat remains

between Us and Them.

The threat outside is nothing

compared to the threat within.


I heard another meth lab exploded last night.

Now, they are portable,

in cars.

Don’t follow too close

has taken on new meaning.


No orange alert for vigilance

on the threat within.

Next door, across the street,

everywhere in America.

No one is immune.

The enemy outside our borders

is nothing compared to the enemy within.


Terrorism thrives in America today.

It breathes through Hitler’s development

of this cancerous drug evolved into

a new four-letter word – meth.


Spend billions, drop bombs

on the enemy outside.

Silence falls on the enemy within.


Count the numbers of Americans lost

to terrorism.

Countless the lives lost or devastated by

the enemy within.


Slaughter millions of Indians,

enslave countless Africans and Chinese.

drop bombs on Japan and Iraq.

Shock and awe – the American way.

Though we call Them barbaric,

We are accountable

for our own actions.


I heard they found another meth lab last night.

So sad for those children

made sick by the fumes.

The jails are filled to capacity

because that’s the wrong answer

to the problem.


Hopelessness, ignorance, and

pointless existence are the greatest threat

to our national security.


Oh, how I hate a cliché,

but education IS the answer.

Intellectual growth - the greatest high.

Knowledge offers hope, which leads to wisdom,

and self-esteem,

and self-worth,

and no need for that quick, yet fleeting high

that people crave,

and find,

in meth.


We are blind to our own reality

In denial of truth, the unthinkable,

In such a great nation, to be, ourselves,

the enemy within.


Opening our eyes and facing realty;

Reviving our faith, educating our youth,

learning from mistakes of the past

so as not to repeat them.


Opening our arms to, rather than locking away

the victims of the enemy within

is the only hope of a brighter future

and the key to the elimination of

the enemy within.


Faith, hope, and charity

Still needed today.

Maybe now more than ever,

so that we will no longer have to

fight on both sides:

The enemy outside our borders and

the enemy within.


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