They see the grace: the smiles,
the tolerance, the kind embrace
she bestows upon the worst hate
without so much as a frown on
a face that speaks even when silence
adorns it, that does not ever sate
their need for recognition and violence.

They hear the politeness: the soft
voice, the thank yous, the apologies
she grows naturally upon her skin
without so much as an effort, with
a compassion that is inherent in her spirit,
with a warrior’s heart that chooses to win
every battle with love, courage, and wit.

They mistake her politeness for weakness,
misconstrue her grace as fear of flames,
but being polite and graceful do not
necessitate or imply a dearth of claws,
nor are kindness and tolerance flaws
which undermine the strength that has fought
many a war without ever facing a loss.

They do not fathom the claws or the roars
she always possesses but only puts to use
when she does choose, for only a few
are worthy of the weapons and the words
which can scar sans so much as a sound;
She keeps the claws, both old and new,
safe with the grace – ready for every round.

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