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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Apology for the Genocides

TO:  Victims
FROM:  Management
RE:  Current claim

We regret that our associates

(whom we never met)

raped your women

(so beautiful)

and gunned your men down in the streets

(violence a continuing problem).

We’re sorry you were hanged from trees

and rinsed with Zyklon B.

We do not condone

removal of gold fillings

or the use of skin for lampshades

under any circumstances.

Despite current efforts to recycle,

this was wrong.

Allowances were made 

(we’re told) 

when you did what was requested

and attempts were made

(we understand) 

to separate families only when

economic or political stability

deemed necessary.

You were too strong (the manual labor)

too numerous (the high fertility),

too beloved by your beloveds (hymns so spiritually uplifting),

we feared that you’d slit throats.

We had no choice but to crush the sparks

before they turned into conflagration.

As far as territory is concerned,

our policy is clear:

ancestral lands belonged to

someone else’s ancestors at one time.  

Dust to dust, most scientists agree,

so who can say to whom

the dust you claim as yours

should now belong?  

A slippery slope.

We realize past actions 

may have caused you pain 

and birthed resentment

that is hard to shake,

but past is past 

and now it is incumbent 

on us all to forge ahead.

Unfortunately, it is not possible

for us to compensate you 

at the present time

for preexisting conditions.

Bylaws mandate that we

not accept responsibility 

for events predating our agreement

(which, in fairness, this administration did not draft).

Thank you for your inquiry.

We appreciate your understanding in advance.

Please accept our heartfelt apologies 

for past suffering and any discomfort

you may currently be experiencing.

Our deepest and most sincere condolences

for your loss.

With thoughts and prayers,
The Management

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