Q4 Benchmark


“The sacramental seal is inviolable.

A priest cannot break the seal of confession to save a life, to protect his good name, or to aid the course of justice.”

In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti (In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. )

My son, are you telling me in 1941

There were nights you ransacked homes

forced men to bend to the whim of German tongues?

You shot them in back alleys.

You found women hiding beneath bedsprings,

tucked inside pianos,

crouched beneath creaking floorboards,

choking on gun powder and brittle bodies being burnt to ashes  

you slaughtered them -

cleansing the world of those with the devil in their eyes

You consider yourself righteous  

Haunted only by a woman’s scream Pleading for her babies’ life

Before bullet met back

Seems like you can’t get their blood from beneath your nails

their faces too hard to forget.

They steal your sleep.

Something about how her eyes sunk back in sockets

Her fingers bruised, dislocated from locking together

to hard around her son

she wouldn’t run,

she only wanted to trade

her last breaths for his future

but you didn’t negotiate with Jews.

I'm suppose to forgive you

do 10 hail Marys for every mother you butchered

5 our fathers for every father you shot in secluded alley way

In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti

"I absolve you from your sins in the name of the father, the son and the holy spiri..."

deus ignosce mihi (God forgive me)

God forgive me

i don’t want to forgive this man for his sins

I want to watch him twist

as screams simmer beneath his bed springs

I want his skin to sting every time water touches it

As shower heads remind him of gas chambers

I want him to die slow and painful

I remember you and your friends.

God the Father of Mercies,

Swastika armbands, brown shirts, combat boots

plastering pavements with glass

fathers beaten by batons.

mothers on knees, spared only to watch

blood spots spread across brick where babies heads

were smashed -

through the death and resurrection of His Son,

you rested their bodies in Babi Yar pits

laughed while you shot families in backs

corpses rotted black

stacked up till bones filled graves they dug    

has brought forgiveness of sin to the world.

it took you and your friends

two days, one night, to burn down

250 synagogues,

kill 2500 jews,

lock away 20 thousand,

Through the ministry of the Church,

I should’ve said something then!

Kristallnacht was the time to prove to god how righteous I am

my tongue was pinned down by the barrel of your gun

I was scared to die

I forgot there was a spot for me in heaven

I could’ve saved those people

I’m sorry for not even trying

I grant you pardon and absolution for your sins

no more silent tongues

i still hear women crying in the choir

kids bent, pants down, in confession booths

confessing sins they thought they committed

in the Name of the Father

my friends aren’t so holy, they sin too

pedophile priest creep down aisles

and of the Son,

as organs drowned out

hebrew sorrows settling in the tones

he can't hide your secrets here

and of the Holy Spirit.

i’ll show the world that silence

won’t sit well on tongues tonight, not in my church

not in my soul


For this project I wanted to write a poem that tells a story from a unique perspective. Which is why I decided to chose a priest who is suppose to for give everyone for their sins, but struggles to forgive a nazi soldier. This now shows the priest fighting against his duty with god to forgive and his own morals. One thing I like about this poem is that is goes back and shows everything the soldier did. Which flows well with story telling because the priest was alive during the holocaust. In a way this poem shows a part of history and how one person (being a priest) had to go through it. Which is something that I hope my audience got from my work. I hope the got that fact that sometimes in life our morals might clash with our duties and how we face them would determine the type of person we will become in the future. If there was one thing I gained from this project it would be that story telling is a way of keeping this alive. Without story telling parts of history would be lost or even memories at that. I say that because every conversation we have with one another is story telling and is how we get to leave a piece of our selves with others. I think story telling is a way of keeping our legacy alive in a way.