Remember, They Said

August 4, 2008
By Christine Garibian, Glendale, CA

They told the Jewish mothers
To hold their babies
To their breast
And face the wall.
To save a bullet,
After all.
When defiance just brings you closer
To a smiling death,
Dignity is the only freedom.

…And so they faced the cold wall,
Rather than facing the cold smiles,
And the shots rang out,
Jarring violence in a quiet courtyard—
But the yells rang louder:
"Victory is ours!"

They whispered,
And their blood leaked
Into our veins.

They told the Armenian fathers
To watch
The desecration of all that
Life had once meant:
The flames greedily reaching for the home…
The hands hungrily reaching for the wife…
The swords thirstily reaching for the baby's neck…
And laughter prevailing amidst
The pandemonium:
"Good shot, brother!"

And then the fathers
Fought back,
And blood seeped into their souls
As the world turned black…
Against a stronger enemy,
Rage unleashed
Is a fatal mistake.

They choked out,
And their tears fell
Into our upturned eyes.

They tell us
To be quiet,
To yell a little
After all,
They didn't kill anybody.

But fire runs in our veins,
And tears sting in our eyes,
Reminders of what we must not

This is how we can stop
What is to come.
Let not slaughter be
A broken record.

We yell.

And march on.

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