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Monday, November 20, 2023


by Rachel R. Baum

A Moorpark College professor was charged Thursday with involuntary manslaughter and battery in the death of a Jewish protester who authorities said died after a confrontation with pro-Palestinian demonstrators at a rally in Thousand Oaks, CA.


Questions we asked ourselves 
   in 1930s Germany and in 2020s America:

Should we remove the mezuzahs from our doors? 
oh but you can see the shadow, the shape
the ghost mezuzah, clear as any sign. any target
Should we take off our Star of David necklaces? 
Christians’ crosses gleam from their throats
our naked tender throats invite, incite violence
Should we avoid attending demonstrations?
where angry people meet to blame 
Zionists or Jews, no difference to them
Should we hide our opinions, our politics?
even safe rooms we know are not safe
no matter, speak out or stay quiet, we die anyway.

Rachel R. Baum, a Best of the Net nominated poet, has tried unsuccessfully to avoid writing poems about current events. She lives in upstate New York with her dog Tennyson.