Yom Hashoah

Yom HaShoah

Not even a whirlwind
Could un-light this memorial
Lists of lists of lists of lists of lists of lists 
Names on a roster
Names on a wall
Names in the notebook
Read one by one
Their place of birth 
Their age, if known

Their mothers and fathers
who named them 
who cherished their 
ever being

Their names slip from the list
to my lips and they are the flame
the uprising
the hope
of the forgotten

Not even a whirlwind cyclone of 
hate sprayed
fear epidemics
could un-light these flames

Lists of lists of names of names
They were two, just walking
They were fourteen and alive
They were you
They were us
They were three, full of language
They were six, reading books
They were babies in arms
They were ten, all in giggles
They were eight. 
They were eight, 
like my son

A light for these children
A light for these mothers
A light for these fathers
A light for the unnamed
A light for the grievers
A light for survivors
A light for the saviors
A light for the haters and healers and uprisers
A light for the life we all might have known

Had these children grown 
and delighted our senses

Would I have been born
My family tree broken
With hidings and lyings 
and ship born disguises
 if not for the failure
to eradicate all?
We are immigrants, 
all. 

Could I announce them now? 
Announcing and pronouncing them
lists of lists of lists of lists of names and names
I could read them and say them
Announcing diplomas
Merit deserved
A spotlight on stage
A marriage vow
A piano recital
A honorary guest at our table 
tonight. 
A whirlwind can never blow out
this light. 


S. R. L. 5/02/19

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