Hour Eleven: Shylock

11 2017 Shylock

by Paul Robert Sanford

What am I to you?
A Villain? A Joke? A Victim?

Some Christian wrote me
with a big nose and greedy palm,
burning for vengeance on those who have wronged me.
He got part of it right.

I am a human being with feelings and needs.
All of us need respect and security.
How dare you push me to the side of the street,
spit on my robes,
borrow money from me but hide me away in the ghetto.
Force me out of every honest trade into money lending
then curse me for a money grubbing greedy monster.

Laugh at me for a while.
Yes, I get the boot, I get cheated.
I let my the carry me away,
to think I would ever get Justice
from these Christians.
The fix was in from the first and I fooled myself.

One of these days my descendants will revenge me.
We will work and study until we succeed beyond your kind.
Our lives will be prosperous and secure,
at least compared to this medieval age.
But we will still be driven by the memories
of cheatings and beatings, of pogroms and forced labor.

Never again will we let the world walk all over us.
You have wronged us, and none of us will every be allowed to forget.

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