Is it the crisp flakey morsels that Germans consumed
before the computer system error, chicken wetted
on lips to celebrate Kristallnacht? Or the apology.
I’m not blaming a chicken company for all
who died in the Holocaust, but for the makeshift
tender cheese-topped fowl, hormone-plumped,
beaks cut, birds raised from small wet lumps
of gold. What I object to is the loss
of memory for shop windows emptied
of their frames, sledgehammer mobs, temples
burned beyond recognition. And this was no preclude
as often said, to hair locks cut, shapes padlocked
and gassed, like fowl with their long neck’s cut.
All this when elected men changed the shape
of entire countries. Today, push notifications, the next
apology where KFC “remains committed to inclusion.”
The admission to error no container of ethic or the mention
of how many teeth sit at the bottom of a pit when Jews
rounded up were pushed into a secret chamber.
About the Poem
Kentucky Fried Chicken, or “KFC,” seems to feel there will be no repercussions for this “mistake” and is terming it a computer error. Who will pay the price for this insult? My mother would be even more horrified than I am. The family tree she developed included members who died because they didn’t leave Europe prior to the Holocaust. She marked their names as “Husband,” “Wife,” “Child 1,” Child 2″ as if writing their names would file some sort of record. Kristallnacht is important to Jews because it permanently eradicated a way of life, some say the beginning of the murders. But as we really know, it was just one step in the greater plan of those in charge to rid Europe of Jews. Even in reparations, as in all human injustices, the price is never paid.
About the Author
Laurel Benjamin is a San Francisco Bay Area native, where she invented a secret language with her brother. She has work forthcoming or published in Lily Poetry Review, Burningword, Eunoia, South Florida Poetry Journal, Fourth River, Dreamers, Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down: An Anthology of Women’s Poetry, among others. Affiliated with the Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon and Ekphrastic Writers, she holds an MFA from Mills College. She is a reader for Common Ground Review and has been featured in the Lily Poetry Review Salon. She was nominated for Best of the Net by Flapper Press in fall 2022.