"Kolomyia" - 2/24/22
Tonight I was with my parents
It had been some days since
I had seen them and amidst
My travels I had found, at long
Determined last a sense of freedom
Freedom from fatigue, from sadness
From pressure, from disappointment
I'd felt my purpose, inside performances
Much awaited and highly anticipated
Careful and conscious, I managed
To evade Covid (Baruch Hashem)
And by virtue of such good fortune
Qualify to reunite once more with
Loved ones, one of whom has
Not been quite so lucky as me
Bundled in a warm, comforting coat
Holding matcha and anticipating smiling
Eyes albeit masked faces I rode the elevator
Up to a skyscraping floor knowing the higher
I climbed the closer I came to more
More love, more affection, more safety
More appreciation, more hope and more
Gratitude to be a family, together once more
Healthy (relatively) and reflective
Mindful of our collective blessings
I am from קאָלאָמיי‎, near the Prut River
In Western Ukraine and have often looked
At my family tree in wonder and amazement
That my ancestors managed to escape pogroms
Anticipate that mere decades later first 3, 4 and then
Eventually 70,000+ of us would be taken to the
Szeparowce Forest and to Belzec and disappeared
Now as war claims young innocent lives and families
Are turned upside-down I let tears fall as they must
For every daughter lost, every father abandoned
Every mother and sister and cousin and uncle
Who woke up one morning free and another
Reframed by violence whose indiscriminate
Seeds of woe, strewn now among the concrete
Fires raging and sirens wailing, unbridled grow
And I think about this idea of borders
Of nations and of nationhood
I think about my first love from Russia
And my relatives shot in Ukrainian woods
And I pray, holy holy holy, for Freedom's flame