Risa Denenberg

Yellow Star

In my case, the yellow star
will be made of two perfect pink triangles,
cut from cheap dry goods at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
where the women
sew stars on at the ready
hunched over their Singers
and, not wasting time on stairs,
work right up until closing time, then jump.

They didn’t want to die so young
and neither did the gay boys who died in droves
at the close of last century. I would be one
who would beg you to shoot me,
who would know that borders lie,
that I could not endure the march through the woods
in the snow to the trains at the end.

We who say never forget
also know that it could happen again
to us
and we do not know more now
about how to make it stop.

The stitching never ends. For practice,
I have sutured my arm to my sleeve
with triangles made from pages torn
from the Book of Job.

Risa Denenberg is an aging hippie currently living in Tacoma, Washington. She earns her keep as a nurse practitioner and freelance medical writer. Recent poems have appeared online at Sein und Werden, Mudlark, Scythe, Chimaera, and THIS Literary Magazine. Risa blogs about poetry, aging, death and other matters here.