You Shall Not Forget

by Jeffrey Burghauser (February 2024)

Moses On Mount Nebo Looking at the Promised Land, Lesser Ury, 1927


Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget. —Deuteronomy 25:17-19


Our Father, Moses, bravely stood
___Above the hissing fight
His scion brought with hardihood
___To the Amalekite.
He stood, a solemn figurehead,
___Beholding from that height
The Hebrew battling the red,
___Foredoomed Amalekite.
By means of hoisted hands, the man
___Was able to recite
The will of Heaven, stronger than
___A mere Amalekite.
Occasionally, there’s a debt
___No mortal can requite.
The Scripture says: “Do not forget
___The foul Amalekite.”
A skull can be History’s hearse;
___Interminable spite
Is History’s mnemonic. Curse
___The dark Amalekite.

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Jeffrey Burghauser is a teacher in Columbus, Ohio. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Leeds. He currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Fearsome Critters, Iceview, Lehrhaus, and New English Review. Jeffrey’s book-length collections are available on Amazon, and his website is

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