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Charlottesville: A Cautionary Tale

August 12, 2018


On the anniversary of the white nationalist rally turned deadly riot, I offer this poem published today on New Verse News


Charlottesville: A Cautionary Tale


The Nazis have returned. To Charlottesville, VA.

            Pale wizards, frenzied mass, mad with purity.

Wands ablaze, heads of skin, howling blood and soil.


Tell your Jewish son. Repeat the story. Pray.

            Tell him he will never replace the whiteness of their line.

He will never replace never replace the blood pooled in the soil.


Tell your son the truth about the trains of yesterday.

            When children came in cattle cars and left as clouds of ash.

When memories were skin, bones, weeping bloody soil.


In Charlottesville the torches turn the nighttime into day.  

            Long ago these torches fired ovens for the Jews.

Step-children of goose-steppers want blood spilled on their soil.


Tell your Jewish daughter. Find the words to say

            They are raging to destroy her with fire and a flag.

Swear never again never again. No more blood for soil.


            Now you’ve told the story that bears repeating every day.

You’ve told your son. Now try to drain the olive from his skin.

You’ve told your daughter. Try to drain the darkness from her hair,

            Fix the hook that is her nose. Bury the blood lost in the soil.



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