On the second night of Passover, three Passover poems shared by friends:
The first by Jane Hirshfield:
In a Room with Five People, Six Griefs
In a room with five people, six griefs.
Some you will hear of, some not.
Let the room hold them, their fears, their anger.
Let there be walls and windows, a ceiling.
A door through which time
changer of everything
A second by Irena Klapfisz:
Bashert These words are dedicated to those who died These words are dedicated to those who died because they had no love and felt alone in the world because they were afraid to be alone and tried to stick it out because they could not ask because they were shunned because they were sick and their bodies could not resist the disease because they played it safe because they had no connections because they had no faith because they felt they did not belong and wanted to die These words are dedicated to those who died because they were loners and liked it because they acquired friends and drew others to them because they took risks because they were stubborn and refused to give up because they asked for too much These words are dedicated to those who died because a card was lost and a number was skipped because a bed was denied because a place was filled and no other place was left These words are dedicated to those who died because someone did not follow through because someone overlooked and forgot because someone left everything to God because someone was late because someone did not arrive at all because someone told them to wait and they just couldn’t any longer These words are dedicated to those who died because death is a punishment because death is a reward because death is the final rest because death is eternal rage These words are dedicated to those who died Bashert These words are dedicated to those who survived These words are dedicated to those who survived because their second grade teacher gave them books because they did not draw attention to themselves and got lost in the shuffle because they knew someone who knew someone else who could help them and bumped into them on a corner on a Thursday afternoon because they played it safe because they were lucky These words are dedicated to those who survived because they knew how to cut corners because they drew attention to themselves and always got picked because they took risks because they had no principles and were hard These words are dedicated to those who survived because they refused to give up and defied statistics because they had faith and trusted in God because they expected the worst and were always prepared because they were angry because they could ask because they mooched off others and saved their strength because they endured humiliation because they turned the other cheek because they looked the other way These words are dedicated to those who survived because life is a wilderness and they were savage because life is an awakening and they were alert because life is flowering and they blossomed because life is a struggle and they struggled because life is a gift and they were free to accept it These words are dedicated to those who survived Bashert
The third by W.S. Merwin:
Variation on a theme
Thank you my lifelong afternoon
late in this season of no age
thank you for my windows above the rivers
thank you for the true love you brought me to
when it was time at last and for words
that come out of silence and take me by surprise
and have carried me through the clear day
without once turning to look at me
thank you for friends and long echoes of them
and for those mistakes that were only mine
for the homesickness that guides the young plovers
from somewhere they loved before
they woke into it to another place
they loved before they ever saw it
thank you whole body and hand and eye
thank you for sights and moments known
only to me who will not see them again
except in my mind’s eye where they have not changed
thank you for showing me the morning stars
and for the dogs who are guiding me