Yom Hashoah

A poem in memorial

Samantha Lazar
Jul 23, 2019 · 2 min read
Photo by Andres F. Uran on Unsplash

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


Update: I voice recorded this poem. You can listen while you read here:

Literally Literary

We've Got a Story for You

Samantha Lazar

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Poetry, fiction, and essays in celebration of being a Mom, Wife, Educator, Writer, & Lover of Life. ❤POMpoet❤

Literally Literary

We've Got a Story for You

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