A glimmer of hope coming out of Hebron
Counting the Omer in the Toddler House

A poem for today


                on  the  train
                you  had  left me
                a  message   scrawled
                across  brown  paper
                wrapping  hung  like
                an  empty  garment
                bag  hooked  in  the
                baggage  net
                overhead  it  all
                seemed  upside  down
                no  safety  from
                that  direction
                i  could  not  reach
                having  inch  by  inch
                shrunken  into
                myself  pacing
                the  moving  compartment
                upside  down
                no  safety in
                any  direction
— Gertrude Halstead


This is one of the poems we'll be reading tonight at my shul during our Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) observance. I'll be leading an evening service in which the prayers of the daily liturgy are interspersed with poems arising out of the Shoah.

Here's an interview with poet Gertrude Halstead. (Reading the interview, I just learned that apparently she is in Pittsfield, right down the road -- apparently she's now local to us.) Thank you for your poems, Gertrude. May the memory of all who endured the Shoah be a blessing.


Edited to add: here's the handout of poems we'll be using tonight, which I share in case it's helpful to any of y'all, or in case you're looking for something you can read / pray on your own today: YomHaShoahPoems [pdf]