Lest We Forget

The present plight of immigrants
is sad indeed. But paring of
our moral stance shows congruence
with other forfeitures of love.
“Have we lost our humanity?”
The Governor John Kasich asked,
assured in his urbanity.
Did he forget slaveholders basked
while separating families,
as servants labored in the field,
and masters muttered homilies
about God’s blessing on their yield?
Such sweat and toil without respite
our government won’t still make right.

Recall the bloody massacre
of Indians at Wounded Knee,
the thought of which looms lackluster
as thoughts of lynch mobs in Tennessee.
The slaughter reappears today
with sanitized veneer as drugs
to keep downtrodden folks at bay
or jail those selling them as thugs.
And don’t forget our Japanese
internment camps before we wince
at coolness to atrocities
against the Jews. A long time since
humanity has lost its clout.
I doubt if John just found this out.

Frank De Canio was born and bred in New Jersey and worked for many years in New York City. He loves music from Bach to Shakira to Amy Winehouse. Frank also attends a Café Philo in Lower Manhattan every other week, and a poetry workshop which are now, since Corona, ZOOM events. Read other articles by Frank.