By Logan Tenner
10th grade, TERRA Environmental Research Institute, FL

With lines from "Nearly 100 Confederate Monuments Were Toppled Last Year. What Happened to Them?" by Melissa Lyttle, a Pulitzer Center reporting project

You call it heritage; you call it history.
We ask, why honor it? Like that’s such a mystery.
Why give respect to our nation’s old nemesis?
Why give respect to a bunch of supremacists?

The battles they fought in, it seems you’ve forgotten,
Were built on ideals fundamentally rotten.
You claim of the fights, they were all for “states’ rights.”
But the records say slavery; don’t try to rewrite.

A statue stands tall by a school or a steeple
Of a man who took lives for the right to own people.
It was built in the sixties – that’s nineteen, not eight –
Not a tribute to a martyr, but a totem of hate.

Protestors arrive, and vengeance is served.
It’s vandalism, yes, but very deserved.
Its scowling face painted; appendages broken;
Through this deconstruction, the people have spoken.

A lying statue to a racist Lieutenant
Now lies hidden from sight, graffiti still present.
The confederacy’s part of our history, true; 
But the paint and the damage - that’s history, too.

Logan Tenner is an incoming junior at Terra High in Miami, Florida. Along with math and science, he enjoys creative writing, and has a knack for the rhythms of poetry. On a more serious level, he believes that no matter how broken our world, how deeply messed up our systems, we can always work to fix our problems, by speaking openly and questioning the problematic remnants of the problematic past.

Read more winning entries from the 2022 Fighting Words Poetry Contest.