RESPONSE TO MY ENGLISH PROFESSOR,
REGARDING WORLD WAR II

In class--
you addressed the horror of that war,
cited poetry by Eberhart, Jarrell:
the aerial bombardment,
the term murderers
applied to fighter pilots
who sweated missions
for five long bloody years--
Think about those times,
blitzkrieg, buzz bombs,
the waah, waah waah of sirens,
buildings, neighborhoods and
neighbors
blasted into dust.
Think about what any compromise
could bring, any ceded peace...
Think what might have been./
Burnt upon my hand,
forever luminous through time,
brought from Poland
(he never spoke about which camp)
Joe's souvenir
passed among us on a tennis court...1946
a bar of soap,
rendered human fat.


© Pearl Stein Selinsky