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Bob Meszaros


Hungarian Freedom Fighter


In 1956 Father Babos escaped

the troops and tanks, the blood that pooled

and curdled on the cobblestones.


Now in a classroom in New York City

he teaches history and faith.


Father Babos is thin and pale;

and when he stands to teach, his voice 

and fingers shake.


Students of defiance, we laugh

and raise our hands against his

broken English. 


Our hands are white flags of betrayal;

the flags that silenced Maleter and Nagy;

our laughter tanks and soldiers moving closer.


In a classroom before a blackboard 

in New York City, where instinct rises

like a sudden show of hands, 

                                               in black cassock 

and stiff white collar, Father Babos 

stalks the aisles between us


He hurls his words like stones.


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