A Hail Mary Pass to the Twenty-First Century
Fear recalled, the taste of sweat in retreat; when
one can never seem to run far enough or fast enough.
Remembering the Christian children’s chants of
devil worshiper, atheist; the taunting hell they saw for those
not blessed to be themselves.
The jeer of the crowd for those apart. The
mob mentality of the Christian heart. The damn you if
you’re not me, to a girl of eight, defies any amount of time,
memories are not obliterated.
Breathless behind a hollow-core door, gasping
tears, a heart pounding to the beat of fists on panel,
fear recalled as bile rises; hate thrown the Jew bated,
only an inkling of what Tanta felt.
Nineteen fifty-six, eleven years after the end of WWII,
I had seen the numbers burned into my families’ skin;
the ones still alive to show them to a child of eight,
broken glass nights, crowded trains, death camps.
New England, still gripped in a Christian hell,
at eight, at twelve, at eighteen—and every Christmas
in between—don’t speak, don’t tell, don’t let them know
you’re different—different, hated, taunted,
chased, and if possible erased.
Prejudice knows no boundary of time or place, the
fear, the mob, the gang, the chanting group, alive still in
the 21st century. When you kneel, and pray,
even when you say Amen.
First Published by Synchronized Chaos Spring 2015
Copyright © Debbie Guzzi