Who answered the call of a thousand filthy posters
on darkened lampposts
In Peking and Manchester
In Berlin and Minsk.
Who followed your uncles and cousins
On icy grey seas to Tammany’s City
Only to end up sewing buttons on dresses
from dark to dark.
Your enemies: fire and locked doors.
To speak of it, to think of it.
Lined up in the hull of ships.
Yes, like sardines. Fatigued silence.
Shocked by waking up alive.
Who offered nothing to a new nation.
November 6, 2012