Too many “dates that live in infamy”,
events about which nothing can be done
to change their bloody history.
Yet they annually sweep over us a vast,
sullen wave of obligation
as though we need a constant recall
of the calumny of humankind.

I have my own dates, seldom recognized
even in the fine print on calendars.
No military madness requiring lowered flags,
parades of tanks and guns, politicians’ eulogies,
or taps’ mournful echo over cemeteries.

Never forget: the trail of tears, Black Death,
Japanese internment, the Inquisition, Vesuvius,
and, of course, the burning of the library
of Alexandria.
We can do nothing about these either.