March SOLC–Day 3
Recent news about the vandalism in the historic Jewish cemetery, Chesed Shel Emeth, in St. Louis, Missouri made me terribly sad. I struggled with this poem and still question whether I should include the third verse or end after the second.
Once, long ago, a friend told me
that in the Jewish faith
some mourners leave stones
at the graves of their loved ones,
not delicate blossoms
fated to fade and decay
“The stones will endure,” she said.
I understood the allure of the solidity
of granite, quartz and crystal
in the quagmire of grief.
I imagined the healing process
of selecting a rock, one special rock,
for a texture, a color, a shape
or a memory
then gently placing it atop a gravestone
an enduring message of love and
Yesterday I read about vandalism.
In a Jewish cemetery far across the country
someone toppled and heaved headstones,
desecrating with orchestrated hate
I imagined those carefully selected small stones,
tumbling in small percussive bursts
from the top of the disturbed monuments
then rolling along the ground
to rest in mute accusation
at the feet of the vandals
Messages of love unmoored
I yearn to travel to that cemetery and
gather the scattered stones and pebbles
I want to hold them tightly cupped in my hand
until they warm and I can feel my pulse
beating in their core
until I can set them one by one
upon newly straightened tombstones,
imbue them with serenity
and with deepest apology
for the mindless hatred
that disturbed this sacred place.
Each stone a whisper and a wish
Rest in peace.
Molly Hogan (c) 2017
Photo from http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/putting-stones-on-jewish-graves/
This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the amazing Heidi Mordhorst at her blog, My Juicy Little Universe. Click on the link to enjoy some more poetry!