- Poem in Two Mood Swings
I am the daughter who came afterthose who went to heaventhrough the opening of a chimney at Auschwitzor the lucky ones who sailed through a harborwaving the torch of their heartsat a statuenever mentioningthe two grandparents who remained
as life skipped a generationand gravel filled my mouthwith uncomfortable silence.
I pick out stones nowand place them on gravesno, throw them at the pits of Hell.Here's one, two, three, four... [End Page 11]
a volley of stonestransporting me backto when I ranin fieldswith my cousin, my sister, my unclelooking for any holewhere we could bury ourselvesand never come out.
My parents spoke Hungarian,not Yiddish.
They ate stuffed cabbage,not lox and bagels.
On Yom Kippurmy sister's friendscame over the houseto stuff themselves.
We were a refugefrom being Jewish.
All my teachersin the New York City school systemwere Jewish.
When my father was growing up in Hungaryhe use to protect the smaller boysfrom getting beat up.
My father was a Communistwho sent my older sister outto buy the Daily World. [End Page 12]
Politics made people argueor disappear underground.Everything was hidden.
When my father was dying from cancermy mother didn't want him to know what was wrongbecause she was afraid he wouldn't fight it.
On his deathbedhe told us to never forget we were Jewish. [End Page 13]
Lenore Weiss lives in Oakland, California. When she's not working as a Webmaster, she's practicing her guitar. Formerly the coordinator of Kehilla Community Synagogue's Middle East Peace Committee, Lenore recently finished teaching a class entitled, "Exploring What it is to be An American Jew in a Violent World." Her most recent collection of poetry, Sh'ma Yis'rael, was released this year from Pudding House Publications.