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Dense stories
summarized in brief facts,
are legacy bullets
in the perspective they lack

Bodies of work
are stripped down to bare bones,
leaving phrases behind
etched in books or on stones

Decades spent building
reputation and respect,
are whittled to points
with eternal effect

Last impressions span lifetimes
in chronicle and legend,
defining value in connotation
when something is mentioned

A ‘one who did that’
or ‘they’re known for this,’
while the rest of their life
the historians miss

Achievement can vanish
in a moment’s blur,
crafting scars on a timeline
as allegations occur

The devastation of status
by a few words or actions,
lures common conclusions
from immediate reactions

We must consider
and understand the larger view,
not just legacy bullets
that will be fired at you