I Tell My Friends

(Re-posted from February 2016, after receiving more than 11,000 views. It’s time now to remind your friends. Please share.)

I tell my friends
I’m afraid.
They tell me
it couldn’t happen here.
They can’t imagine
we’d vote against
our own self-interest.
I tell them we do.
All the time.

I tell my friends
Germany became Nazi Germany.
Germans didn’t see it coming,
couldn’t imagine it.
Nationalism screwed up
the collective psyche of reasonable people.
Code red, white and black.
Code fear.

I tell my friends
a shocking percentage of Jews
voted for Hitler.
Then stayed too long
in a nation going mad.
I recite Anne Frank’s last entry:
In spite of everything, I still believe
people are good at heart…
I tell my friends
she didn’t realize it would be her last,
couldn’t imagine friends would turn them in
three days later.

I quote Reverend Niemoller:
Then they came for me and
there was no one left to speak for me.
I post the quote on my front door.
I tell my friends
I want to be brave like protesters who yell,
FASCIST!
BIGOT!
RACIST!
and aren’t afraid of the goons
who rough them up
while the crowd spits and kicks on them.

I tell my friends
social justice is worth my life.
I need to know I tried
to stop the ascendancy of evil.
Tried to stop good people
from endorsing campaigns fueled by hatred of
women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, journalists.
Campaigns that appeal to our most unholy selves,
screwing up our collective psyche.
Code red, white and blue.
Code fear.

I tell my friends
if this isn’t stopped now,
there may be no stopping it.
And now I’m telling you
to tell your friends.

Copyright Patricia A. Nugent, February 2016

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1 Comment

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One response to “I Tell My Friends

  1. davison57

    Very Beautiful, and also so true in so fearful a way. Courage!

    Liked by 1 person

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