When they are all dead,
there will be no one
left to stand witness,
not that testimonies
are ever believed if inconvenient.
And even when acknowledged,
the grey realities
of boxcars crammed
with shopkeepers and poets,
children and lunatics
are easily dismissed
when an American president
lays a wreath at a cemetery
honoring the goons
of the twentieth century.
And when the last
of them disappear from
the earth, the ones who saw
the skeletons, breathing and still,
the ones who were there
and know, when they are gone,
how long will it be before
we are told to reconsider.


            Brady Peterson

From Dust