Pandora’s Box

I’ve lit the flames of a million candles
In a million cold blacked out rooms.
But careful, destruction spreads quickly with wind,
And you’re easily caught in my fumes.

I bring out the courage that hides deep within,
To save another in need,
Though sometimes I also find cruelty hiding,
Which blossoms and grows from that seed.

I’ve heralded heroes, back to their homes,
With medals and crowds full of cheers.
Or brought, not the hero, but letters to some,
Expected, but still met with tears.

I’ve laid the foundation of civilizations,
Built walls of stone sturdy and thick.
Then I am wielded by hands of another,
Tearing them down brick by brick.

I once unhorsed tyrants from overworked mounts,
Giving freedom its very first steps.
Or elsewhere, I bring a new set of spurs
And pass the reins on to the next.

I’ve given a voice to those overlooked,
With the talents so needed to lead.
Yet also I’ve silenced the cries of dissenters,
In the name of a nation in need.

I can bring what once seemed like an infighting people
Together with one common goal.
Or I can set families to fighting each other,
Fracturing what was once whole.

I am the child that valor once loved,
And I learned from her what I must do.
But she tossed me aside to be fostered by hate
And part of me learned from her too.

I’ve ground a billion flames to ashes,
Beneath the sole of my shoe,
I am Pandora’s box, full of evils,
But there’s hope at the bottom too.

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War — what is it good for? Absolutely nothing?