La Mort aux Juifs

Small French town resistant to change name
from ‘Death to Jews’
(Time, 12 August 2014)

after Edward Thomas

Yes. I remember Death to Jews –
the name, because one afternoon…
because the name. It was ‘Juin’,

the expert claimed, ‘La Mare au Juin’,
Manure Pond, and just evolved
naturally. The stink remained

as France cleared her throat, bared
the damp, grey platform of history,
said: we love our Jews, Jewness,
see all our fair Jewlets, high

in cloudless society. What I saw
was Death to Jews – only the name
and beyond it, clearer, farther, nearer,
the train hissing from Dreyfus to Drancy.

 

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