Workshop Poem – Oct. 29, 2014

Milton P. Ehrlich

My Bolshevik Buddy

He was a legless veteran of the ’39
Civil War Brigade in Spain.
He hurled his stump around
like an orangutan in heat,
never missing a day of teaching.
He indoctrinated students
as a revolutionary apparatchik
with fire in his belly for a new world.

He refused to use an umbrella,
a symbol of the bourgeoisie.
He wouldn’t brush his teeth
or use underarm deodorant:
Comrade solidarity.

Daily Worker, his bible, when religion,
opiate of the people, would never do.
He walked the talk on every picket line,
raising his fist, red in the face, singing:
“A Las Barricadas”

We’d argue late into the night
about whether the ends justifies the means.
Dynamite, bombs and assassinations
expose the light of truth, he’d say,
and, without light, nothing flowers.

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