If Moses had Entered the Land
Shattered Shades of Sky, Zlatko Music
We'd expect a steady stream of buses
packed with Hasids and their pious wives:
600,000 pilgrims on the 7th of Adar;
beggars extending boney hands
like turnstiles at the entrance to the tomb;
madmen babbling incoherent visions
or spitting indignation: Remove
your shoes; you stand on holy ground.
We'd expect a magnificent stone edifice
on a par with Machpelah,
an Herodian fortress amid a dusty city
topped by an Ottoman mosque
whose grandiose dome lays claim
to another site of holy contention—
his tomb off limits to the Jews
except on designated nights
after the locals have gone to sleep,
our presence less a provocation then,
the route through town secured
with armored vehicles and soldiers,
a caravan of bulletproof buses
drawn to blinding light,
that pillar of imagined fire
billowing into the night.
Powerful stuff. I enjoy reading the poetry each month, and this is beautifully written as well as powerfully and sadly accurate.
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