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Friday, February 17, 2023


by Ed Ryterband


Now I cannot turn my eyes
the pile up so monstrous.
Black bodies lumps of coal
shoveled in a furnace of indifference.
Now a land to deconstruct
terrain of my white privilege
unexamined legacy presumed
justice, access, possibility. 
Now I will concede
the wind’s been at my back
for years and centuries
no bondage, redlines, stop and frisk. 
Now I’ll steer into the maelstrom
air thickened with our certainties
clouds of righteous indignation
amplify the howling
Now I do proclaim
I’ll never know the pain of my Black neighbors.
I declare I do believe them.
I will show up for them. 

Ed Ryterband is a psychologist, has been a standup comic and is now a poet and memoirist. His poems have been published in Paterson Literary Review, Two River Times, US1 Worksheets. He has three collections of poems published by Kelsay Books: Life On Cloud Eight (2019); Beyond Cloud Eight (2020); Rain Witness (2022). He’s working on a fourth collection Equanimity and a memoir about his immigrant parents Who They Were.