Monday, November 7, 2016

Everything ended…

"Holocaust Memorial"
© 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

Everything ended and began with trains...
     night journeys into the kingdom of the dead
        accompanied only by the dead of night
     eastward journeys
               westward journeys
     journeys of the camel trains from Ur Kasdim
          journeys of the cattle trains to Oswiecim
the bridal train of the Shechinah
     derailed in the sidings at Treblinka
the ladder of my own journeys
climbing to the very bowels of Hell


So I returned to hope and exile
   And the gate opened
      revealing what lay hidden:
the fallen cedars of my father’s mansion
   a lilac pollarded by tears
      the stone pillars that were reduced to ashes
the cobwebs lying heavy on the chandeliers

An entire forest of webs enmeshed the eternity
   of ThoughtWordCultureFeeling
      which was my father’s library...

But this was only part of it
   these were only the superficial facts of devastation
          What was less obvious
               invisible to the naked human eye:
a set of roof tiles, stacked against the barn wall
a timber ladder, with three of its rungs broken
a volume of Rashi, straddling the ruins of a bonfire
a silver candlestick, quite simply vanished
a yellow photograph, now turned completely purple
an untended grave, smelling faintly of urine
a dead snake, clubbed to death in the marshes
a bust of Schiller, sold or stolen...

(this fragment continues with "Before we ever came...") 

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Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

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