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Sunday, August 12, 2018


by Deborah Kahan Kolb

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.

Deborah Kahan Kolb is the author of Windows and a Looking Glass (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and the recipient of numerous poetry awards, including the 2018 BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) award. Much of her poetry is informed by the unique experiences and challenges of growing up in, and ultimately leaving, the insular world of Hasidic Judaism. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including Poetica, TheNewVerse.News, Literary Mama, 3Elements Review, Poets Reading the News, Tuck, Rise Up Review, Writers Resist, and Mom Egg Review.