shema for them

shema for them

OMG Poetry, Joseph D. Robbins, you
have inspired me to remember my family
and our close knit tribe, inscribed in history;
carted away to die in chambers filled with
Xyklon B, at the hands of the Nazi Party-
tethered together in infamy, etched in
the books of posterity, we have struggled so!
to be free to practice our Jewish beliefs.

Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad
we cover our eyes as we say the shema
Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One!
the silent voices exterminated way too soon,
whispered this under their breaths,
before being led to their deaths.
we are forever humbled by our homage,
as we exist today under the same
cold, silent, guiding imperfect moon
all those Jewish children saw for the very last time
out of the cracks in the grime caked walls
of dim death camp room stalls.

today we recite with pride the six words our
ancestors held hostage in their hearts as they died
a death so cruel we young Jews must learn of it
again and again each year in Sunday school,
so we will never forget the pains our people
have gone through.
today we no longer have to hide that we’re Jews.

today we are davening
for all of you
today we are happy benching
for all of you
today we live our lives as menches
for all of you

for Bubbie and her sister, separated for years
one in a work camp, one in the woods damp
Bubbie living off bark and roots to stay alive through tears

for the part of my family tree nobody got to meet
i recite this poem, a small sweet token
sent express to your new home in heaven.


(c)2013 Waifette / SLR / Sandy Lynn Riefberg All Rights Reserved.