Owning Pain by Evie Groch

My poetry teacher says

we shouldn’t hog the Holocaust,

as if she knew me,

as if there was only so much pain

to go around.

She wants equal time

for slavery.

I do not speak up in class,

do not seek to confront her;

after all, there are Kurds,

Armenians, Bosnians, ethnic

cleansing to bring up as well.

Like a parent’s love expands

to embrace all her children,

empathy can do the same.

Not a contest, not a competition,

no vying for winning at suffering.

In a just world, my world,

perpetrators will have at their

bedside a ticking alarm clock

of guilt that cannot be turned off

once it awakens them.


Evie Groch, Ed.D. is an Educational Consultant and Field Supervisor/Mentor for new administrators in Graduate Schools of Education in several bay area universities.  Her opinion pieces, humor, poems, short stories, recipes, word challenges, and other articles have been published in the SF Chronicle, The Contra Costa Times, The Journal, MarketPlace, J Weekly and Games Magazine. Many of her poems are part of published anthologies. Her travelogues have been published online with Grand Circle Travel.

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