Poem: Let Them Not Say—Jane Hirshfield

July 3, 2020 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

As we celebrate Independence Day here in the US, we can keep in mind the work we’ve done, and the work still to be done, to make this truly the melting pot nation our textbooks said it is.

Let Them Not Say
Jane Hirshfield

Let them not say: we did not see it.
We saw.

Let them not say: we did not hear it.
We heard.

Let them not say: they did not taste it.
We ate, we trembled.

Let them not say: it was not spoken, not written.
We spoke,
we witnessed with voices and hands.

Let them not say: they did nothing.
We did not-enough.

Let them say, as they must say something:

A kerosene beauty.
It burned.

Let them say we warmed ourselves by it,
read by its light, praised,
and it burned.

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