Silence Prevailed!

Silence Prevailed

by John Gregory Evans

From: Vehemence: In Silence We Weep

The bus driver knew.

Harsh reality set in.

Angered by brazen words

from English speaking kids,

insolent tongues sing of a lady in France.

The German sun bit into the driver’s eyes.

What did these kindred know of France?

And the killing of Jews, and mixed alike?

What did they know?

Where, I think, did they learn this shit?

I remember the lunch my mother served me

in a brown paper bag.

A sandwich, chips, and a pear.

I can still smell the excessive mustard.

The bus ride home after first grade classes.

How was I supposed to know they were wrong?

All the brats on the bus.

Why? They began singing of a lady, in France.

A short fifteen years after the last atomic bomb.

Did they not know, too, that it was wrong?

A late afternoon, and all is quiet.

Our lazy cat sleeps.

German memories are born from an ageless form,

Fading back in the mind from a child’s nightmares.

Elusive memories playing in the Bavarian snow.

The little village of cherry trees.

Walks to the bakery where windows speak with biased eyes.

Framing spaces that fill nights and days of Jewish cries.

A few schillings for the baker

Which was not ever enough for the pastries and bread.

I walk upon pavements of multi-colored snails.

My first real friends.

Memories like ghosts’ surface.

As a small boy, I did not know.

As a small boy, I did not know.

As a small boy, I did not know.

Oh, these lost souls.

Earth’s elusive end for this manifested era.

He was a heavy-laden old man, mustache and bald.

A German Jew, I think.

At the crack of his voice brawled thunder in his speech!

In a broken English dialect, he ordered, “Silence!”

He shouted with spit flying from his tongue, again

he demanded silence!

The brand on his arm spoke volumes.

If only we could read, back then.

And, yet, silence prevailed.

Silence prevailed.

Silence.

Selected from Vehemence: In Silence, We Weep by John G. Evans.

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