In learning about the Holocaust for the millionth time:
I wonder if this ever becomes
a worn topic to some
because for me
it always feels
too new
I count the decades from
where we are today and
they always feel
too close
for comfort
maybe it’s because
I know enough bad jokes
about myself
to silence an entire synagogue
maybe it’s because
I learned how to make
a mockery of my people
before I knew why
there were so few left
this was before I was
old enough to understand what
it meant to be
a dying breed
and the town I lived in
felt too much shtetl
to understand that
the hatred we laughed about
wasn’t a joke to
the rest of the world
and us,
just enough Ashkenaz
to keep the blood still
I imagine a scene:
a room crowded by
too many bodies
and wonder how any God
could pass by without
how he would be
unable to hear
that many last breaths
being taken at once
I still wonder the same.
In learning about the Holocaust for the millionth time:
I’ve written this poem a
million times
but it never seems
I picture six million
and wonder how many of them
would have had my name
I picture six million
and wonder if we’ll ever learn
from our mistakes
and somewhere
in a classroom
a kid is rolling his eyes
at a story he thinks he’s heard
too much of
and somewhere still
we are saying things
like never again
knowing too well that
repetition has always been
one of history’s greatest

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  1. !!! This reminded me of the first time I fell in love with Slam. (After I heard some, I wrote my own that night). I wrote about the Holocaust. I have that piece on my site if you want to check it out. I love this though!


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