by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)
You’ve heard of names like
Auschwitz and Dachau?
Oh, good for you.
You have a passing acquaintance
with terms like “final solution” and “genocide”?
No, they are not answers to Jeopardy questions.
Permit me to introduce you to
Jews lined up at the lip of ditches,
(they, themselves, had been forced to dig,)
to be shot in the back of their heads,
to be sprayed by machine gun fire,
to be rolled into the open wounds of the earth.
What town was that?
Who was the mother trying to protect her child?
It does not matter; you’ll never remember.
They have all returned to the hard ground.
You go on with your life, that’s all right.
The dead have no hold on you, even if
their arms reach out from the blood-stained soil,
trying to shake your monumental indifference.
The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years. Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.
If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/