We roam on a contaminated landscape.
The dust and the bones
Of the martyrs
Stirred in with the buildings and towns
That came afterwards.
Paying no heed to the violence
And the trauma
Carried out on a people
Who never really had a home.
No matter how long they lived with you.
No matter if they fought your battles.
Always the other.
Forever the scapegoat.
You pray to a G-d.
But your prayer will go unanswered
As long as you refuse to admit
The lives you cut short
And the communities wiped off
The unforgiving face of this earth,
All in the name of fear or a despot.
Shame running thorough your veins,
Generation after generation
Because you can’t admit what you’ve done.
Confess and beg for forgiveness from
The remnants still left.
Scattered and distanced
From the memories and traditions
Your grandparent’s erased.
The truth will sting,
As it should.
Make their crimes known.
Even if you can never truly atone.
© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.