A Hail Mary Pass to the Twenty-First Century
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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 to heal. 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 rose; hate thrown, the Jew bated.
This was only an inkling of what Tanta felt.
Nineteen fifty-six, eleven years after the end of WWII,
I saw 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 was 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 | Year Posted 2016