They came at dawn, benevolent with promises
with open hands, and buses, candy-smiles,
separating fathers from their wives
sisters to the left and brothers to the right
before they served the black milk from the past.
‘It can never happen here in Europe’
‘We have learned, and we are better now’
Yet we watched and failed.
Some were neighbors just before the war.
The gun-men and the corpse,
the rapists and the girl who lost her smile.
once used to chat and laugh at sunset
before the lines were drawn,
before the milk turned black again.
They tried to hide the bodies
digging soil and separating limbs
and still we search for heads to match with arms.
Today one-hundred-thirty-six boys and men
were laid to rest with names on headstones
forensically matched to relatives
in the town of Srebrenica.
Where they served the black milk from the past.
Today Grace introduce the poetry of Paul Celan at toads. His most famous poem is the Fugue of death retelling the terrible Holocaust, that begins with the phrase: “Black milk of daybreak we drink it at evening / we drink it at midday and morning we drink it at night”. As it is the 20th anniversary of the Srebenica massacre today, I’m sad that we have not learned, that these atrocities, still go on. The black milk is still served in places all over the world.
July 11, 2015