Quieta non movere

Do not worry about him, they reassured.
Do not say anything, they cautioned.
Do not move him, they recommended.
Do not ordain, they decided.

Do not listen to her, they whispered.
Do not besmirch a good man’s name, they admonished.
Do not see his hand slip up the boy’s leg, they resolved.
Do not mention it, they repeated.

Do not say it again, they warned.
Do not listen to her, they dismissed.
Do not believe them, they wrote and wrote
until a mother tore the cold hand of silence from her lips.

Do not worry, he stamped the packet of papers.
He shut the filing cabinet. He locked the door.
I’m the archbishop, he said.
Nothing is going to happen.

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