Heartbreak

the sun shines through the sky on an autumn path
We switch on the noon news
this golden autumn holiday,
then gasp and shudder with shock.
 
Pogroms are erupting in Israel.
Our eyes recoil at the deaths
there, elsewhere, anywhere.
 
We turn off the TV, rejecting
the barbarous scenes. Surely
they are replays of old film clips.
 
Denial doesn’t last long when
media bulletins blitz while actual
bullets are boldly fired by Hamas.
 
We glare at our hand-shaped wall
hamsa, meant to ward off the evil
eye. Ashamed, it claims blindness.
 
We stroke our Star of David
necklaces, certain that Israel
will survive this Biblical battle.
 
We don’t yet know that someday
soon we will hesitate to wear the
stars or hang mezuzahs on our doors.
 
We do our best to comfort those
sinking into emotional quicksand
here, elsewhere, anywhere.
 
Even so, we feel helpless and tense
going about our usual lives amidst
terrifying new realities everywhere.
 
Seeking an impossible calm, we bed
down our gardens for the winter,
wishing we too could sleep soundly.
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