The Boycott

Charles Rammelkamp

Even though my dad’s distant relative –
mine, too, of course – was buried 
in the only Jewish military cemetery 
in the world, outside of Israel,
a graveyard for Jewish Confederate soldiers in Richmond Virginia;
Henry Gintzberger, a veteran of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg,
blown to bits by a Howitzer shell
at the bloody 1864 battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia,
he forever refused to drink Manischewitz wine
after the company issued “specially marked
limited edition” boxes of Passover matzoh
with a letter from a Jewish Confederate soldier
defending the South, claiming
they were only fighting for States Rights,
simply defending themselves from invasion –
the War of Northern Aggression, you know.
“The bastards!” Dad declared.
He’d been born in Baton Rouge,
but he moved up to Boston to go to college,
settling in Newton, Massachusetts.
“Passover celebrates freedom from slavery!
What the fuck were they thinking?”

Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore and Reviews Editor for The Adirondack Review. A chapbook of poems, Jack Tar’s Lady Parts, is available from Main Street Rag Publishing. Another poetry chapbook, Me and Sal Paradise, has just been published by FutureCycle Press.