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St. Roach

Rating: 3.2

For that I never knew you, I only learned to dread you,
for that I never touched you, they told me you are filth,
they showed me by every action to despise your kind;
for that I saw my people making war on you,
I could not tell you apart, one from another,
for that in childhood I lived in places clear of you,
for that all the people I knew met you by
crushing you, stamping you to death, they poured boiling
water on you, they flushed you down,
for that I could not tell one from another

only that you were dark, fast on your feet, and slender.
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Carolynn Shaw 07 November 2007

Muriel, How sad, how shameful we are. Cruel in our habits and traditions. You shame me, you shame us - no, you show us our shame and allow us to breathe. Thank you for this poem. Respectfully, Carolynn

5 6 Reply
John Richter 11 February 2016

can anyone interpret this please?

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Wolfgang Steinmann 12 January 2015

At first I thought: A poem about roaches? But is it really? How wonderful it describes our prejudices! Jew=Roach? , Negro=Roach? - we have certainly treated them as such. This poem should be read by anyone who thinks he is better than others!

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John Richter 12 January 2015

Not altogether certain she is speaking of cockroaches. Muriel lived through both world wars and the liberation of Israel as a Jewish woman. Could her affectionate poem be directed toward those war mongers? Art is art in any way through - if nothing more it gives us the romanticism of subjection.

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Stephen W 12 January 2013

I think it's just a bit silly.

4 4 Reply
Stephen W 20 September 2015

Dunno why I wrote this 2 years ago. Must have been in a funny mood.

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Juan Olivarez 11 January 2012

Tell me who you associate with, and I will know you. What a dirty woman you must have been Muriel. Creepy poem too advocating Sainthood for a roach, disgusting.

3 11 Reply