There Is an Accidental Address Where Shabbat Light (Łódź Ghetto)by Ronda Piszk Broatch
Is forbidden. In nooks and basements prayers swallowed
by walls and old timbers not yet burned for heat. Cold passes,
wild song, between concrete cracks, relentless guardian carrying
warning in its teeth. It enters the bones, the invisible women
and men drift home like shadows that in six months’ time they will
more deeply become. Can a crow lift a curfew? Can it break the heavy
darkness that floats above our beds each night? We say we wish for
the needles of retribution, but the night has eyes, has police batons,
has a gun. While the ghosts struggle/don’t struggle in the streets,
grey as flowers under a new moon, somewhere the soft face
of a chrysanthemum melts in the rain, somewhere a dog is let in
and given a bone. There is a life somewhere not yet drained of color,
where children are tossed and caught by happy fathers, where mothers
somewhere, sing Shalom Aleichem. May your departure be in peace.
Ronda Piszk Broatch is the author of Lake of Fallen Constellations, (MoonPath Press). Ronda’s current manuscript was a finalist with the Charles B. Wheeler Prize and Four Way Books Levis Prize, and she is the recipient of an Artist Trust GAP Grant. Ronda’s journal publications include Fugue, Blackbird, 2River, Sycamore Review, Missouri Review, Palette Poetry, and Public Radio KUOW’s All Things Considered.