Vergangenheit

May 31, 2017
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My history teacher once told me
that the German word for history
is vergangenheit: the story of people.

Sitting with my grandpa in front our TV
Watching his favorite drama: the Sino-Japanese War
After so many years his tears stopped crying
They sat in his eyes reflecting about the past.

3.7 million square miles,
20 million unnamed tomb stones desperately,
holding onto the remnants of the fight,
unwilling to be dragged into the dirt where their enemies are buried.

1937, Shang’hai.
The Japanese they rushed onto the streets,
chanting their victory like mad dogs.
We just ran with our eyes half closed, afraid to see
the red spilling all over the dusty concrete.

1937, Nan’jing.
The bayonets, so sharp, they blinded my eye.
I hid by the corner and saw a crying baby.
I saw a man throw the baby into the air,
and point the top of his freezing blade at it. Then. No cries.

1941, Luo’Ma.
We heard those sons of b****es,
they bombed America, an island somewhere.
The Americans wouldn’t be able to defeat them,
I have seen how those japs fight.

My grandpa told me
that the Japanese are rapists, murderers, devils,
without a soul.
that we are heroes, victims, angles
of justice.

1976, Yan’an.
My father was prosecuted for his capitalist ideologies.
I was sent to labor camp.
But I later realized the prudent vision of our great leader
Chairman Mao.

1979, Hanoi.
We invaded Vietnam, raided their villages, burned their livestock,
Husbands and wives. That’s what the Vietnamese claimed, but
I don’t believe them.

My history teacher once told me,
that the German word for history
is vergangenheit: the story of people.

4 hundred thousand American souls,
8 million German souls,
20 million Chinese souls,
buried and remembered.
But my grandpa survived to tell history.
Simply, the stories of people
It is the stories of people
It is the stories of people
It is the stories of people
It is it is it is it is the stories of people.

He can twist history.
He can turn history around.
Japan invaded China.
China invaded Vietnam.
He can twist history.
He can turn history.
If he twists and turns twists and turns twists and turns
If he twists history it turns against the truth.
But. What is the truth?

My history teacher once told me,
that the German word for history
is vergangenheit: the story of people.






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