AUGUST 2018
CERTAIN INERTIA
by David R. Cravens
a lady named Edith Rogers
speaks on occasion
at the college where I work

mother and baby brother
lost to Auschwitz
she’d survived the holocaust
by hiding in Stuttgart

I give students extra credit
for attending
sit in back to make certain
they’re not fucking off

saw a girl in front of me
daughter of a dimwit
I’d gone to high school with

she had her phone out
texting ‒ scrolling ‒ texting—

I started getting pissed

angrier the longer I watched

but she wasn’t my student
so I kept quiet

just like those guiltless
oblivious German gemeinschaft—  
I swear we didn’t know
what was going on in there


David R. Cravens won the 2008 Saint
Petersburg Review Prize in Poetry and the
2011 Bedford Poetry Prize. He currently
teaches composition and literature at Mineral
Area College in Missouri.