Hear oh Israel
a tale of Oneness
One of us right
One of us wrong

Here in this land
bought and sold
traded won stolen
here my mothers are
buried here
Mohammed stepped off
to paradise
here your child is buried
your house

Here I was cast into a pit
sold into slavery
here you turned me from the gate
here I sent you packing
moved into your house

Here my son learns
here your son casts
here you blew yourself
to bits killing us

One God only One

Here my house is
surrounded by soldiers
Here in my holy proximity
to the grave of my father’s
Here you live in a ghetto
curfewed carded
Here I torture you
for secrets Here
you torture me
Hear oh Israel a tale
of Oneness
one of us is right one
of us wrong

Here I kill you to rebuild
the Temple
Here you kill me to get
to Heaven

One God Only One

Helena Lipstadt lives in Gulport FL. “Shema” was written during a residency at the Arad Arts Project in Israel.