Saturday, March 9, 2019

Those who do not remember (Day 780)

Those who do not remember the past 
are condemned to repeat it. —George Santayana

When the homes of dissenting 
professors are mapped, and 
Victor Hugo dreams of an arrow 
of seven geese pointing toward 
the tilted crescent barely discernible 
in the sky above Nanterre, 
we will wish we had said No.

When, in the wreckage of time, 
beneath a smoke-clotted film 
of unbalanced light, enough 
human life is spilled into French 
fields (where, years later, 
expatriot gentians begin to grow),
we will wish we had said No.

When cities are scoured by wind, 
slicing through concrete layers, 
to the bone echoes of train-platform 
scenes invisible to all but silent 
security cameras and roaming 
packs of dumpster-fed dogs,
we will wish we had said No.

(c) 2019, by Hannah Six
Image: George Luks, Verdun, France (ca. 1915), 
watercolor on paper, via Wikimedia Commons

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