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June 9, 2021

 

Useless ... Unless ...

or Regretful After the Fact

 

mankind does reprehensible things

amidst all our wonderful works

hide far too many unspeakably evil

uncovered and brought to light

too late for the aid of any victim

 

yet our memorials are enacted

our communal sympathies voiced

again, and again, and again

 

too late …

 

of what worth our after the fact voices

if our words are not a call to action

 

of what worth our after the fact weeping

if our tears do not wash away this evil

 

of what worth our after the fact anger

if our hands continue to stand idle

 

useless …

 

we cannot bring back those who've fallen

our remembrances of them do nothing

more than soothe our stricken consciences

 

unless …

 

unless our words are not mere discordance

unless our tears are not mere token rivers

unless our wrath is not mere futile venting

 

unless we have done more than weep

we have but painted whitewashed tombs

on the foundations of ancestral failures

 


Useless ... Unless ...
A poem by Peter Rhebergen

Copyright 2021

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