Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Oh, Hannah,

Dearest Hannah,

blessed was your fire,

stoked though

feet of eight/

darkened block/

snuffed flame

sealed your

unconscionable fate.

I inhale the soot

which marked the spot

where once your

hands held paper.

Your splintered pencil

wrote of faith and country,

love and purpose.

I choke from the

breadth of their

enmity for you.

The sediment grows thick

with apparitions

for whom vindication

has not come, as

I struggle with breaths

acidic from decades of decay.

I am reduced to travailing,

as my lungs, my heart

digest the stench

of horrors you endured.

I want to mourn for you

with peace and reverence,

but am filled with anger

that young poet so gentle

was made martyr.

They caged you, though could not constrict your spirit,

They beat you, though each hit only served to remind you were still breathing,

They raped you, yet after grown men had torn into your youthful flesh

punishing your temple for simply being Jewish,

You mustered enough strength to stand to your feet…

let your dress gape open to shame them

as you walked the camp bruised and bleeding.

But you faltered only for fleeting moments

Before again taking in hand pencil

To write of blessings and hope,

And when they knew finally

they could not break you…

They stood you without benefit of mercy,

No counsel, no marches,

No chance for reprieve

No final countdown

No media,

As you kneeled

before uniformed soldiers/

shot you like thief,

like vagrant/

young girl at war,

unable to grasp

the impact of your existence.

In those last days of

dolor and muck,

wash and ascendance,

what name did you call

but Mother, Dearest Mother,

what God acknowledged you

Daughter, Faithful Daughter/

no calvary sky darkened/

connect undone/

words not heard,

while execution

fulfilled their plan?

Who came for you,

who came for you

while your Hebrew pen

grew lonesome

for your hand,

did no one think to aide

those decedents

who now grieve

for never having read

what more you had to say?

Who failed to rescue you,

who WAS it, Hannah?

What man lacked humanity

and let your worn shoes

be stripped from

weary ankles,

after you paced in circles,

gazing upwards towards

Adonai and Mother?

Did no one come

while ashen tears

fell upon the

blemished face of man?

Who comes for us all,

when we give life for

mission, exchange

sanctuary for mortuary?

Who will rescue OUR words,

who will hear OUR pleas

for love, for peace,

what name will

WE call, but Mother,

Dearest Mother/

when the soot

fills our lungs and our

pens write no more?

Will no one come, Hannah?

Will no one come

for us as

no one

did for you?

Hannah Senesh [Szenes], (July 17, 1921 – November 7, 1944)

May your soul rest in peace.

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