Mennonite Poetry Home | Leonard Neufeldt



Returning to Rhodes

If you return to the harbour
to tie up where birds once soared
over the grand Colossus
and through the sun’s corona,
sky at a standstill,
the sea a genial lingering
as thought of an eternal city,
and if you walk the old Jewish Quarter
where merchants called on Ottoman,
Latino, Greek, biblical Hebrew
and snippets of the new Italian
to take care of their lives,
you might wonder which gift of tongues,
which words, served them better
with assiduous informers,
or Mussolini’s goons,
or summer rail connections to Auschwitz,
or with the popular new idiolect
black on the arm,
names taken away to long trenches
of languages and ashen heaps of words




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