Three Passover poems shared by three friends

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On the second night of Passover, three Passover poems shared by friends:

The first by Jane Hirshfield:

xxxx

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

can enter.

 

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

 

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One Response to Three Passover poems shared by three friends

  1. Jerome Bloom says:

    Powerful

    Heartfelt

    Words

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