Carnegie Mellon University

"All who hold fast to it" 

Honorable Mention for College Poetry

His shouts echo through my bones
like stone walls and stained glass
shining red, orange, yellow light
illuminating the swaying of the talesim.
How good are your tents, O Jacob.
Each year we pray for those we’ll lose,
on Yom Kippur it is sealed,
who by water and who by fire
but we never mention who by hate.
Maybe that one’s a forgone conclusion.
It was cloudy and gray on October 27th,
he never saw the gentle reds, yellows,
heard the soft chanting because if he had
how could a person destroy such peace, how…
I’ve written this poem before.
writing in my infancy as they named me Shoshanah Dvorah
writing and smiling at the security guard outside my best friend’s Bat Mitzvah
writing and waking up panting at fifteen from nightmares of bullets and camps
writing and reading about bomb threats aimed at community centers
writing and looking over the hills of Jerusalem, the annex of Amsterdam
writing and singing Ha’tikvah bat sh’not al-payim, our hope is not yet lost
writing and watching the protests at Charlottesville in my country of freedom
writing and pressing my magen David closer to my collarbone, closer to my heart
writing and crying as my parents assure me we’ve survived worse
writing and hearing the police cars wail down Wilkins
writing and running through lists of everyone I know
writing and trying to find some sense in it all
writing and holding my friends too tightly
writing and whispering Shema Yisrael
writing and kneeling in the streets
writing and laying down stones
writing and gasping for air
I am tired of writing.

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