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In Memoriam, a poem by Martin DeAgostino







In Memoriam

for Elie Wiesel

Slowly the minister read
a description of hell,
an exercise, he said,
in the reach of God,
his realm.

It was not the squalid
grotesques of Hieronymus Bosch
nor Cotton Mather’s flame
and ash
nor even Dante’s cruelly
calibrated fosse.

It was a child
thrashing at the end
of a rope
his hollow, sallow frame
too slight to quit
the agony of Auschwitz.

Minutes passed.
An anguished voice
cried from the yard
Where is God? Where is God?
God is here.

Later, after bacon and eggs,
I leafed quickly past
the inked accounts
of barrel bombs
of bruised and battered children
and the wretched petty deaths
of local homicides
until at last I reached
the crossword puzzle
and did not weep.



Martin DeAgostino is a late-life convert to poetry whose only defense is that he got there as soon as he could. He lives in Fall Creek Place in Indianapolis.