Shoah 2020

By Carmine Giordano

the hibiscus tree
with the bird’s nest
in its heart
was first to the axe
as the year ended
the white bougainvillea
that circled the foxtail palm
its roots ripped out
the oleanders slashed
lolling the side of the house
their arms and legs
stacked up in the truck
their feet dangling
over the sides —
if they had had tongues
the air would have been filled
with the scream of flowers
the howl of scraped bark
we would have heard
the blood sap
bleeding from the shins
of the crepe myrtles
the milky-dew
oozing the arteries
of the blue agave
only the poison snake
discovered in surprise
his beaded body
dappled with jewels
died from the gardener’s blows
in the silence it was used to —
because you wanted something
we show you these bodies
raw and naked
in their shameful poses —
but really
there’s nothing left here —
only some snapped roots
their capillaries
still searching
the scarred earth
to feed the bulk —
slake the thirst
of those trees

Carmine Giordano: Author of Five Poetry Collections: The Courage of Flowers, The Hero’s Journey, Still Sing, The Habit of Spring and Collected Poems 2020 
Poetry Publications: River Poets Journal, Abalone Moon, Poets of the Palm Beaches Anthology, Perspectives, The South Hampton Review, Belletrist.

The poem states the devastation and horror of the casualties and deaths from the Covid Pandemic by presenting the destruction of a garden up close at year’s end, like the Shoah, complete and devastating.

Hopes to elicit the horror of images and noises to overcome the impersonality and abstraction of the TV Newspaper reports of the Covid numbers of the dead.

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