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
It’ll be nice to have no more
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
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
someone will say, “May God comfort you
among all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”
We will hear the sound
of eight billion people