Ben Lorber

To stand with my grandma and say

‘Grandma,

if you saw what I saw-

the home demolitions, the checkpoints,

the tear gas, the guns,

the soldiers, the settlers,

the burnt olive trees,

the scared and scarred children,

the villages, the schools,

the funerals, the martyrs,

the mothers,

the tears-

Grandma,

if you saw what I saw,

you would stand where I stand.’

 

And yet,

Grandma,

to look in your eyes,

to stand where you stand-

the naive hope of Kalischer;

the insistence of Hess;

the dream of Herzl;

the stirring in the heart of East European Jewry;

the passionate debate in America;

the lovers of Zion

flung across many shores;

the trial by fire;

the dying wish of Hannah Szenes-

Grandma,

How can I stand where you stand?

 

Grandma,

let me march with you for a Jewish state

in New York City, 1946,

And may you march with me,

today-

 

and then,

Grandma,

may God resolve

our sorry contradictions.

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