Martin Niemöller calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: First they came for the Socialists,

COUNSELOR: Really? Not for the beach, or the view, or the shopping?

CALLER: and I did not speak out—

COUNSELOR: It’s your vacation–you really ought to have a say.

CALLER: Because I was not a Socialist.

COUNSELOR: Exactly–so why would you want to go see them on your vacation–unless you mean, like, the Diego Rivera murals. Then–

CALLER: Then they came for the Trade Unionists,

COUNSELOR: Can you sue your travel agent for malpractice?

CALLER: and I did not speak out—

COUNSELOR: I’m just thinking out loud here

CALLER: Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

COUNSELOR: …and I’m starting to notice a pattern.

CALLER: Then they came for the Jews,

COUNSELOR: Right. Like it’s not bad enough when people drive around Pennsylvania and gawp at the Amish.

CALLER: and I did not speak out—

COUNSELOR: “It’s all right–ve look at the Jews.”

CALLER: Because I was not a Jew.

COUNSELOR: But hey, while you’re there maybe you can catch a Broadway show. I hear Hamilton’s good.


COUNSELOR: Waitaminit–I just realized. When you say “came for,” do you mean–

CALLER: they came for me—

COUNSELOR: What?? Are they there right now?

CALLER: and there was no one left to speak for me.

COUNSELOR: I’ll speak for you. Just hold the phone up, and I’ll yell really loud.


COUNSELOR: Don’t take him! He’s got flat feet!!


COUNSELOR: He’s really stringy!!!




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