Tuesday, January 13, 2015


For Grandmom

Someone handed me a soul
on a piece of paper when I entered
the doors of that sullen place -
under industrial mining lights
and gray-tiled floors 

I resolved to give life to those eyes -
the eyes of a Dutch coleman
who wore Jehovah's cross on his sleeve;
Grandmom's eyes

He stood in a black-and-white suit
in the black-and-white photograph
There was a suggestion of happiness
and an assumption of freedom

So, off to Sachsenhausen where
he smuggled reassurances
from a divine origin

When God's angels came,
when liberty became possible,
Johannes smiled a red,
vermin-blooded smile
and thought of the locusts
devoured by John the Baptist

As I sit here and the words
breath salience into his nostrils,
I recall seeing that
mezuzah, brightly colored,
resting under the door frame
of Grandmom's house
and knowing
that she had something to say
about the way things are