My Aunt Hulda, God did bless her soul
by Herbert Nehrlich
in more ways than one, even before her passing,
was fond of saying 'Boy, you must be visible',
I, the boy, deemed to be smart, though grave doubts within me,
nodded and nodded, between grimaces,
until the first test came down the cobblestoned street.
'Stand up and be counted', she yelled,
and that, I remember clearly, and with some disdain,
was the beginning of a small plant's life, deep inside me,
a plant called Justitia, which thrives in the conditions of youth,
and often withers and eventually dies, through neglect.
'It is, my boy, none of your business', others yelled,
'stay out of it, you may get your fingers burneds
and lose some skin of your nosy nose',
but I knew, because Aunt Hulda had never, (and would not
ever) lied to me, there was not a shred of falsehood,
or even fibres of a split soul in her warm and ample bosom.
It has, in all these decades, served well, me and others,
vacillation and cowardice have stayed away,
justice has been made to prevail, where gawkers hid,
and the philosophy, known and embraced by,
cherished and treasured like a child, any child,
a simple woman from the dirt farm,
one with a small habit and a heart of diamond-studded gold
survives, with pride but sadly, adopted by few.
'Let's roll', were his last words and he was no coward,
he did not hide in the lavatory, face covered with towels,
yes, it was his battle, too, but he stood, regardless, alone.
Injustice, a beating at the fast food place, step back,
quickly, 'it is not my fight', the cops will handle it,
'Yes', said Rodney King, 'they sure will', but did they?
Envy always comes to the rescue in procrastination,
it feeds the joy of indignation, it is the perfect excuse,
the key to being nothing more than a spectator,
a nobody, a do-nothing-be-nothing, or a person
whose life can only be one of non-significance,
not to others, but to oneself, yet it is, sadly,
the way of the world, a world that yells 'Jump'
to the man on the 99th floor window sill,
a people whose only intelligible mumble,
the one meant for their own conscience, if any
is 'well it ain't me', the word 'yet' not being
for some time to come, in the vocabulary.
Yes Bill, I wrote to you, warning about the operation,
being planned for the reasons of greed and glory,
not for a medical necessity, you chose, unwisely,
to listen to the money-changers, I had YOU in mind,
wanted to save your fornicator's skin for another Monica,
now you must, God help you, live less and die sooner,
it is not in your stars, but in your scars, invisible they might be.
I shake your hand, poet of Poemhunter, for you are,
a member of a rare species, for having it, being all
I want to stand for but fall short at times,
for standing up, then sitting down and putting pen,
to patient paper, just to accuse, like Monsieur Dreyfus,
you saw the turbulence and all the lethargy,
you did not wait for foolish others to take the lead,
because you know the ways of fragile souls who never will.
I know you did not stand up to be counted, no
you did what needed to be done as it was right.