Cradle Song: A Found Poem

An "intelligence test" used to establish "mental
and hereditary illness" in Germany from 1933.
Some 320,000 - 350,000 people were sterilized in
accordance with these dubious criteria.
ppppppppppp- The Racial State

What is your name?
What are you?
Where is this place?
Who brought you here?

Who are the people around you?

Where does the sun rise?
What does it cost to send a letter?
Why do children go to school?
What does it mean to boil water?

Why does one build houses higher in towns than in the countryside?

Who was Bismarck?
Who was Luther?
What kind of state do we have at present?
What does Christmas mean?

Who discovered America, and when?

What is the difference between:
Mistake and lie? gift and loan?
Saving and parsimony? pond and stream?
Ladder and stairs? having/not having babies?

What is the difference now between night and day?

From A PROTOCOL FOR TOUCH (University of North Texas Press, 1999)


Poems by Constance Merritt

Cradle Song: A Found Poem


The Mother’s Seduction