Monday Morning Musings:
“Remember only that I was innocent
and, just like you, mortal on that day,
I, too, had a face marked by rage, by pity and joy,
quite simply, a human face!”
From “Exodus,” by Benjamin Fondane, murdered at Auschwitz in 1944
“But where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, June 6, 1944, written after Anne hears the news about D Day.
“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty will end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, July 15, 1944
This Passover—at least at the start,
my husband and I dine alone–
we’re on our own
for this Seder
(apart from the cats,
who join us later).
It’s been a strange week of that and this
things not quite right, a bit amiss–
the whole afternoon at the doctor for my mother’s hand
in a city office
(the building still grand)
The Franklin Building, 9th and Chestnut, Philadelphia
I look at my hands
starting to look like my mom’s
when did this change begin of fingers and palms–
these strange hands turned from mine to others
how did they become so much like my mother’s?
The weather turns from cool to warm
but still I feel the coming thunder, the storm—
I read about a French woman who survived hate and the camps,
stabbed by her neighbor to whom she showed only kindness–
but he was caught up in blindness
(of the soul)
if that is how we can characterize it all—
this hatred or fear,
we should remember her
for whom the bell finally tolled.
This climate of fear
seems to grow daily
the president goes on another Twitter rant
and I just can’t–
listen to him (sniff sniff) speak or chant
fiction in his supporters’ brains
(enough of them still remain)–
where and when does it end,
will it ever stop,
the firing of the latest shot,
the hate, the finding of scapegoats to label
the fear of the intelligent and able?
There’s fear in the air,
but does fear rise above hope?
Which is denser, which one floats?
We see a performance, a play
people forced together, every day
having to live in close quarters
annoying each other, parents, strangers, daughters,
dependent upon friends for food—
never permitted to go out
or glance through a window—or shout–
forced to be silent all day—
even chatterbox Anne must sit still and stay,
but she finds a way,
observing and recording
in her diary she writes,
somehow hope rising above despair
as if she’s gathered it from the air
“Think of beauty,” she writes,
“I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
Her writing, an art,
though she’s doing her own part
for the war effort, for after, for when life re-starts,
revising her words for the novel she hopes will one day be—
when the war is over—when they’re all free—
We know watching, that it is not to be,
and yet, still, I hope for a different ending,
one that ends without sending
them off in cattle cars to the East
to be treated worse than beasts
to die hungry, filthy, covered with lice,
wonder why she and others had to pay such a price—
would she then have written what she did–
as she slid
as if down a well
from hiding into Hell?
We celebrate miracles, the Exodus,
I’m not religious, but the history of us
of pogroms and hate at this time—
make me honor those who came before me
and who were not free
to celebrate or see—
a day of sun and clouds,
voices talking out loud,
the daffodils in bloom,
I hope they don’t disappear too soon.
Then a rainbow appears way up high
It seems magical, and though I’m cynical,
perhaps it is a Passover miracle,
whatever, it’s beautiful, I think,
and so, we eat matzah and drink
Passover Walnut Cake
and before desert, the full moon appears to hum in the sky–
filling me with wonder and whys
The human face,
if we could only see it
instead of looking at a space
feel—seek out!– the pity and the joy
but instead, we destroy.
Fifty years ago, this week, a man was killed
perhaps from him, some hope was spilled
“I have a dream,” he said,
but before long, he was dead.
He urged others onward in the fight
for justice, for light.
Anne Frank, a young girl, also died
her family, too, only her father survived.
she wanted to be remembered, a famous writer
and so, she is, with life gone and so much missed.
I don’t know that our future looks any brighter,
(Do you hear it? The wind carries their cries.)
and yet. . .when I look up at the sky
I still see the stars and moon, and then I sigh,
hoping their dreams will never die.
We saw, The Diary of Anne Frank at People’s Light in Malvern, PA.
This is Na/GloPoWriMo, Day 2. The prompt was to play with voice, but well, these are my musings. 🙂