no birthday I know of, no anniversary,
temperature working up to hot
grass and gardens brown with drought––
on this day the temple curtain is rent
and I return to the throne of my life
after an absence of ten years from the day that I
as a non-Jew, who had known the facts
of Holocaust but never felt them, read poems
by those who did feel them, read poems written
by those who died, and by those who survived
the horror to pass on the truth of that shadow
that dogs the light.
I went underground that first day, not knowing
why I wept, and continuing to read the poems
until it became clear: I was in the bone house
of God, grieving with him for his own children.
Three weeks of weeping for his chosen ones,
three weeks of filling an underground lake
with tears. Three weeks of remembering day by
day the lives caught in the agony of those poems.
I never returned until today, had not even known
I was still missing, still there, deep in the earth;
a silver thread in my hand had kept me connected.
I know all this through no book,
except the book of my listening life
opened to page one, where it newly begins.