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Thursday, March 28, 2024


by Gordon Gilbert

In the not-so-distant past,
genocidal acts, a holocaust,
distant from our shores,
rumoured only, but for most unseen,
finally revealed in retrospect
indelibly to soldiers’ eyes,
brought home in photographs,
not to be denied.
Ah, we said, if only… If only…
But we did not know
at the time, only later,
and alas, too late to do
what we surely would have done
had we only known…
But now this genocide comes to us live,
like a fog slowly lifting, revealing
the landscapes of barbarity:
bombs falling; the destruction of
homes & neighborhoods,
schools & hospitals,
mosques & churches;
the death of civilians—
babies,  children,  women,  men;
the cries and wails of those
(for now) still alive.
searching in the rubble for those they lost.
We know this time. 
We cannot say we do not know. 

Editor's note: The title of this poem is a line from “To the Days” by Adrienne Rich.

Gordon Gilbert is a writer living in NYC's west village.  During the pandemic, he often found solace and an inner sense of peace by taking walks along the nearby Hudson River; now he does so as unwilling witness to the ongoing genocide in Gaza.