Remembrance (On Visiting the Jewish Museum Berlin)

This poem is one of three in Lilith’s “Tisha B’Av Poetry” series, marking the annual day of lamentation that commemorates the tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people. Each poem evokes loss and mourning in its own way. (This year Tisha B’Av—the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av—begins Saturday evening, July 25.)  

Remember me.
My un-lived life,
lives un-lived after me.

All those.

Make my unmade journey.
Sing my unsung song.
Name the future after me.
Unsay the tongues of blood,
the hiss of zyklon B.

Write on walls of air
my testimony.
Say I was here.
I was the last.
Remember me.

Leaven me in the wilderness of loss.
Feed me on apples, cinnamon and wine.
See in the bowls of family spoons
my legacy,
the faces of my unborn line,
children unthought
before the thought was mine.
Sew me a Yellow Star to shine
on leaves, on butterflies on skin,
stitch it in the lining of the mind.

Remember me—
for all that I was not,
all that I might have been.