Poetry & Reading by Abraham Henselyn
by Abraham Henselyn
“May 5, 1945”
Hannah awoke feeling blissfully light,
Sensed a new beginning, as if reborn,
Eager to taste the longed for freedom
And move out of the self imposed jail.
Tentatively stepped outside in the sun
After long being sheltered in shadow,
Head held high, eyes downcast no longer
She trod old familiar streets without fear.
Going past stores with empty windows,
Seeing gaunt people in shabby dress,
Her spirit soared, her heart grew light,
Feeling herself almost human again.
Streets were quiet without any traffic
Walking the only way to move about.
Slowly, as if drawn by an outside force,
She traced a route to the center of town.
A crowd was celebrating in their way,
Meting out punishment to Nazi whores
Who got their shaved heads painted
With the hated colors red and black.
Then shots rang out, spreading panic,
From a building, close to the square.
Germans inside, rejected surrender.
Hannah fell down to rise never again.
After the war she had barely survived,
Downed by a senseless, vengeful act.
She joined the millions who had died
At the hands of a horde, too vile to name.
One of my favorite sounds:
The big marimba that I heard
In Guatemala, at night, in the zocalo,
Played by several men,
Each using only a section.
The padded mallets striking
In such a gentle way
That the mellow tones
Almost sounding like an organ.
Under dark skies, with a myriad of stars
The music evokes a mood
Of tropical beaches,
Gentle, scented breezes.
I am surrounded by fallen leaves
All paper dry and infused with color.
The tree branches left all but bare,
Slowly shedding the few remaining.
These two scorched brown and cracked,
My parents, summoned to their doom,
This lovely one, brightly colored and whole,
My brother who sailed blithely to his fate.
This pile of broken, mixed up fragments,
Relatives, from very young to ripe old age.
And all around, those I used to know
As friends or passers by, neighbors and kin.
One leaf stands out, very fresh and green,
My first born son, doomed by L.S.D.
Protectively folding around that leaf,
My spouse, gratefully relieved from pain.
This golden yellow one, very close,
My late life love, gone far too soon.
That one barely clinging to a branch,
When it falls, I will finally join them all.