Holocaust Remembrance

I wanted to share my poem “Eleven and a Half Years” which first appeared in the CAPS Anthology 2020

Eleven and a Half Years

If we held one minute of silence for every victim of the Holocaust

we would be silent for eleven and a half years.

The first that would go

is the beep on the microwave.

We don’t really need it anyway.

No one will miss the morning

alarm either.

It’ll be nice to have no more

staff meetings

but the emails will increase exponentially.

The muted TV and the closed captions

might be a nighttime respite in your

overly noisy home.

It will take a while to teach

the babies not to cry

or the dogs not to bark.

Concert halls will close.

Musicians will take that long

awaited vacation.

Old ladies will be paid to carefully

sweep the road so the new noiseless cars

will not crunch the gravel.

Farmers will farm by hand, carefully,

and there will be no more sound

of the whirring combine.

Your mother will no longer call at an inconvenient time.

High heels will be packed away

As will be tap shoes.

Your lover will no longer sigh

or cry out your name.

Birds will fall silent.

You’ll wear thick sweaters to muffle the sound

of your heart beating.

Tears will still fall because tears have always been silent.

But no one will laugh, not even giggle.

We will learn to speak with our eyes.

In the last minute

of the last day

of silence

someone will say, “May God comfort you

among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

And then,

“Arise.”

We will hear the sound

of eight billion people

rising together.

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