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Monday, November 21, 2022


by James Schwartz 

Now, some Amish across northern Ohio find themselves clashing with a new state law designed to reduce accidents and enhance traffic safety by requiring flashing yellow lights on Amish buggies and other animal-drawn vehicles. …officers have been issuing citations, and some Amish have been summonsed into courts across northern Ohio on minor misdemeanor charges punishable by a roughly $150 fine. In Ashland County, some Amish are citing their religious beliefs and have told a judge they don't plan to obey the law and that "paying a fine is not an option." —The Daily Record, November 18, 2022

Memories of Monarch butterflies amid spring songs, clover flowers behind the old weatherbeaten shed, the Gregorian-esque voices in praise, the harmonies to heaven, the crisp white shirts, stark black pants & dresses, descendants of martyred interpretations, heretics of our own making, motherless rebels inter-bred in a defiant democracy. We will not guard the Holy Father. We hustle our humble wares amid warfare, bloody handed Bishops playing God, #AmishTikTok survivors. The sinful government wants to lower the body count. Ohio Bishops flex, above the law, statistics be damned, warning signs on dark roads & lost harmonies to the Lord. 

James Schwartz is a poet & author of various poetry collections including The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America (Kindle, 2011), Punatic (Writing Knights Press, 2019) & most recently Motor City Mix, Sunset in Rome (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). He resides in Detroit, Michigan.