Castro Camera

Castro Camera

This past week was Harvey Milk Day.  Milk was an amazing man, a flawed hero, a great gift and a significant loss.   I wrote this short piece last November in his honor.


Castro Camera

He was just another Lithuanian-American
Jewish boy who played football and joined the navy
a straight-laced actuary who loved the opera
and kept private matters private.
But then came San Francisco.

He said, “I finally reached the point
when I had to become involved or shut up.”

On Castro Street he flowered
turning to his neighborhood
unflinching in his call for civil rights
Ten months a Supervisor, till his
shocking death, November 27, 1978.

He said, “If a bullet should enter my brain,
let that bullet destroy every closet door.”

After the trial, the White Nights
the riots and the beatings
they laid his ashes to rest
beneath the sidewalk at 575 Castro.
He was my age, more or less.


Harvey Milk Day poster



About Andrew Kreider

I'm a poet and musician,transplanted from London, England to beautiful northern Indiana. By day I am a stay-at-home dad with our three kids while my amazingly talented spouse conquers medical school one long shift at a time. At night, I'm a performer and trouble-maker. I love my life.

10 responses »

  1. Andrew, what an incredible quote–and it looks like that did trigger quite a few closet explosions–it really hurts my heart (and discourages me in the grand thought that there is good in the world…) when people who are seeking freedom for others, are killed by the fears of others. Thank you for this ❤

  2. bringing it back to he was your age…really centers this…and makes us question as well perhaps what we are doing…such as he…cool tribute…and def one worth it….we need more willing to stand up…

  3. He looks so cultured and committed, with a touch of the Alec Guinness’ humour about him.
    What a loss. What a waste.

  4. a touching tribute. you definitely honored him well. the quotes were added the perfect touch.

  5. Thank you for the lovely tribute ~ I never knew about him, so this was a revelation ~ A very brave man, and so young to die ~

  6. Brave, amazing person. Thanks for this~

  7. This was a great tribute to a great man. Loved the ‘he was my age’ idea – bril.

  8. In my time there have been giants who have stood, who have been brave, who turned the tide aside and made changes for many. Harvey Milk was one of these. Fine tribute to a brave man who wanted the world to know..what you are is who you are and what you become may happen because of it or in spite of it.

  9. He will be touched to know your fitting tribute.

    Nicely done.

  10. That was an intense time in San Francisco’s history…


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