Divine wisdom,
Please show me how

To breathe
When the smell of hatred
Is hot and dank against my cheek
Blowing across the country
From my childhood home.

To walk
Into a synagogue today
In Los Angeles
When Squirrel Hill,
Sweet shtetl that raised me,
Is no longer safe.

To look
Into the eyes of my students and colleagues,
Friends and strangers
In solidarity with what they
Have always known
In shame for having forgotten

To grieve
The litany of losses
Private and public
Named and unnamable
Across the whole wide wailing world
Without crumbling to dust.

To plant
Flowers, when bullets rain
Words to bandage wounds
Hope, when shadows grow
Long and dark across our faces
Faith that dawn will come

To act
As a bridge
A balm
A beacon,
A source of healing in the dark

Please show me how to add
To the sum of light
When the night looms so large
And my one flame
so small.


© Deborah Edler Brown, October 28, 2018

Image of the Full Moon courtesy of Daniel Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net