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Wednesday, September 07, 2022


by Jack Romig

The Texas Freedom Caucus—a group of Republican lawmakers—sent a letter to the State Board of Education ahead of its Tuesday meeting, noting that they were watching the changes to history lessons closely. Legislators “will not hesitate to intervene during the next legislative session, should the need arise, to protect Texas children from being further indoctrinated and taken advantage of,” they wrote. The caucus celebrated on Twitter Tuesday night, saying: “The board voted to scrap the wokeified proposed changes to the TEKS.” —The Dallas Morning News, August 30, 2022

If we must stand nostalgic by the crusted rivers of our past,
forgetting how we took the land from other folk,
made belles and cavaliers of those who drove the slaves,
erased a second time those killed for human difference;
if we have only mists of vaguest sentiment  
to hide from us the questions that our history asserts,
then let us also keep alive our feelings for old poisons,
mercurochrome our mothers painted on our cuts
and used its toxic salt to draw hearts on our knees,
insecticides that fogged the wake of tanker trucks
as we, unknowing, trotted in the spray.

Jack Romig was a longtime manuscript editor with Book-of-the-Month Club in New York City. His poems have appeared in Common Sense 2, The Fourth River, and Philadelphia Stories. He lives in Huff’s Church, Pennsylvania.