Reflections: A Cold Day to Rebel

By: Shayna Zema

Cold. A wind billows through the air.
My feet go numb. My body trembles.
Havel, the tour guide, shows pictures
He shares words with us.
Professor Heller adds in more details,
Yet my ears seem to quiet the sounds of their voices
My eyes peer at the memorials, plaques,
And spend most of the time drifting downward
The stones, pathways, asphalt.
The ground is the only witness
To memory.

Tales of resistance. Of valor. Of heroes and the weak.
But are they mine?
My ears are unsure whether they can bear the sound to hear
Voices that are not mine.
But they continue to speak.
While some whisper and others shout
They continue to make noise
Asking somebody to hear them
But can I be the holder of such a memory?
Is it my duty? Am I responsible?

Poland is a place where Jews go to die.
Doorposts once hammered in with mezuzot
Streets once bustling with kipot,
And communities once tightly knit
Are forever gone

While some Jews remain connected
What is tradition without praxis?
What is faith without prayer?
What is mishpacha without eishet chayil?
What if I
am the last Jew alive?


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