If lightning strikes this houseor even a nearby oak,you'd hear the tickingof the respirator suddenlystop; you'd hear the danceof the machine stutter,her breathing nulland void, the dime-sized holein her neck for naught, her wordspouring out through the opening.You'd see the way they'd float upinto the universe, ignitingthe air. What can we sayto her, the one who saved uswhom we do not save?The one tethered herewho transformed disasterinto a comic art? [End Page 241]
Myra Sklarew is Professor Emerita in the Department of Literature at American University. She is the author of three chapbooks and six collections of poetry including Lithuania: New & Selected Poems; a collection of short fiction, Like a Field Riddled by Ants; and essays, Over the Rooftops of Time. Forthcoming works include Harmless (poetry) and Holocaust and the Construction of Memory. A former president of Yaddo Artist Community, she has won the National Book Council Award in Poetry and PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.