[Note: This seemed a more accurate term, than "Memory Care."
I was thrilled and honored when this poem won the Jabberwock Review Nancy Hargrove Editors' Prize for Poetry , Summer / Fall 2020. (For money! ;-) ]
Censorship, crammed prisons, unmarked boneyards,
the garrote, border guards under orders, shooton sight:
God knows each tyrant tries. But can’t
smash every single whisper from each tongue or torch
all surviving cardboard shoeboxes tied in twine and shoved
behind Sunday china, with their family freight
of, say, photos of young lost uncles grinning, fists high, at picnics
decades back, and dog-eared begrimed identity cards
for causes since reduced to bloody smithereens.
A despot could staff the National Library with soldiers
to keep generations away from the books. Could let
galleries of Bosch, Velázquez, Gentileschi, Goya
molder flyspecked and leak-wrecked, and meanwhile
sequester history texts from schools, destroy archives
—you get my point, attempt to obliterate—all
of which seems right now, I’m sorry, so frankly
irrelevant next to what our mother,
no longer holding her mind,
the resistance? When
do we rise up to stop it?