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Thursday, November 16, 2023


by Nan Ottenritter

As a child I had a recurring Nazi dream.

A band of proud, uniformed Nazis 
marched down my street, brass instruments
blaring a musical tribute to the Führer
who blasted his own hatred through words.

If the Nazis stopped, turned, and faced your house,
that was it. You were done for. I was so afraid.

My bedroom was on the front of the house.
I peered out from behind the curtain, wishing
with all the fervor a child’s wish could hold,
they would not stop, turn, and face me, face us.

But they did. And there the dream stops.

And continues today.

No longer children, we watch and wait,
words like vermin and cockroach chilling our bones.
We remain childlike in our not-knowing-what-to-do.
We act, but will it be enough? 
We care, but will that make a difference?
We see, but can we change the landscape? 

Nan Ottenritter is a poet and musician who lives in Richmond, VA. Her chapbook, Eleanor, Speak, is available from Finishing Line Press. Her works have appeared in the Artemis Journals, TheNewVerse.News, Poets Reading the News, Life in 10 Minutes, the Poetry Society of Virginia Anthologies, As You Were: The Military Review, and the 2023 Journal of the Virginia Writers Club. She is a 2024 poet for the Writing the Land project.