About Those Monuments

Why attempts to revise history is risky

So what about those monuments?
When is enough enough?
When will our reach exceed our grasp of truth?
If markers of our sullied past
aren’t worth preserving, then
how will we teach kids history? Forsooth!

Are four white faces carved within
the Black Hills doomed as well?
Because both George and Tom had slaves back then?
And just because old Borglum
had some racist tendencies,
should what he did be banned because of sin?

In Germany the Nazi camps
still stand (amazingly).
They call to mind what we dare not forget.
Attempts to wipe out what took place
aren’t honest. They’re contrived.
It’s something that I frankly just don’t get.

These monuments spark memories
that give us cause to teach.
They’re symbols of both glory and of shame.
Plus who decides what is torn down,
or which ones will remain?
Revising history is a reckless game.

In Europe we find evidence
of grandeur and of ill.
Antiquities bear witness to the past.
I can’t imagine tearing down
such priceless works of art
that call to mind deep wounds that always last.