Dennis J. Bernstein
The Smell of Victory
The ripe stench of his feet
haunted my mother into her grave.
When I was ten, she tried to explain
why the smell that kept us from
ever having company was so fierce:
Your daddy fought a violent war
against the Jew-haters. Rommel's
men pinned a medal to his spine.
The putrid smell of the victory
stuck to the soles of his feet.
Dennis J Bernstein is author, most recently, of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom, which received the 2012 Literary Achievement Award from Artist Embassy International. His poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly, Chimaera, Bat City Review, The Progressive, Texas Observer, ZYZZYVA, Red River Review, etc Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple, writes that Special Ed "…is art turned to us through the eyes of love." Carol Smaldino says in The Huffington Post that the poems remind us how "…we are all connected to the sorrows as well as to the grandness of being human…"Bernstein, who holds a master's degree in Education, has also taught media literacy and special education, working in some of the poorest communities in New York City and New York State. He has also taught writing and reading literacy in various prisons in New York City and New York State, for the CCNY/John Jay College and Mercy College.