Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jew Girl


Why must youth be sacrificed on a bloody scaffold...?

--from Hannah Senesh: Her Life and Diary

You traced letters in the air with an index finger
balancing on a table on a bed on a chair
broadcasting morning news
to your prison cell mates
closing out each segment with a Star of David

Other tricks

You covered an empty talcum powder tin
with silver foil
attached buds of white tissue paper
blades of straw from your mattress
threaded through each foxhole

A bouquet of roses

Biedermeir dolls Rococo dolls ballet dancer dolls
Carmens Madame Butterfly Tosca’s
Palestine boy and girl kibbutzniks
with pick and shovel in the olive groves of Caesarea
passed between the bars of Conti Street Prison

At 23 a match

consumed in its own kindling
lighting the way to Eretz Israel
where you could not escape
the bitch of history wanting
the flame to burn inside your heart
always Jewish

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