Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Baillie Aaron uses words to provoke thought. She explores themes of freedom and transition using poetry and prose. Previously, she founded two award-winning charities supporting people in prison. She is a Harvard and Cambridge graduate, TEDx speaker, and urban
kizomba dancer.

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Know Your Place
Baillie Aaaron

Know your place.

Be powerful, but not too powerful.

Be wealthy, but not too wealthy.

Be intelligent, but not too intelligent.

Be successful, but not too successful.

Be vocal, but not too vocal.

Try harder.

Be a leader, but not the leader.

Be private, but not secretive.

Be resourceful, but not stingy.

Desire progress, but don’t be greedy.

Save money, but don’t hoard it.

Be political, but don’t influence policy.

Vote left, or be disloyal.

Vote right, or be disloyal.

Be loyal, not disloyal.

Try harder.

You say you want to fit in, to assimilate, to belong?

Live amidst everyone else, but in your own area.

Work with everyone else, but with your own kind.

Know your place, Jew.

You might look white, black or brown, but you’re still a Jew.

You might self-profess an atheist, Buddhist or Christian, but you’re still a Jew.

The best you can do, is to be a self-hating Jew. You’ll be our poster-child, then. But you’re still a Jew.

Know your place, Jew.

You’re welcome to stay here, until the tide changes, until the ruling party directs their attention to you.

And then our collective finger points to you, Jew.

Get out or we’ll kill you, Jew.

You think you fit in, but we’ll find you, Jew.

You never belonged.

You should have tried harder.