Terrible Night

Oh, terrible night of lamentation,
night of ashes and dust.
Night of the hard pallet, night of groans.
Typhus night, night of starvation.
The terrified moon opens like a wound in the sky,
stars erupt in fury.

Night of screams, night of the vanishing children.
Night of obscurity, terrible things hidden
in dark folds.
Oh, terrible, terrible night. Boots on crushed
gravel, electric barb-wire night.

Night of stale water, night of stench.
Night of shouting and clenched fists.
Night of the paper mountain, night of lists. This is the night
of Jewish names, the night of earth and mass graves.

Hysterical night of broken glass. Night of blood
rags, and lice. Night of filth and bleeding gums.
Night of suffocating crowds. Night of old women
and synagogues burning.
Night of flame. Night of shadows and razed buildings.
Night of rubble.

Night of disappearing, night of the terrible wounding
stars. Night of slavering
jaws, of teeth and the swallowed moon.
Night of rumors.
The morning swallowed by wolves.

This is the night of the East, diaspora night.
This night is named Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau.
From this night's rage we will never fully awaken.

by Steve Klepetar

© 1998 Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope Online

Last update: 1 July 1998

URL: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/kaleidoscope/volume8/terrible.html

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