Letters of 1934

Letters of 1934 by Emily Char

Dear Tammy,

They beat the sky with innocent blood on their fists
and trampled through our cities with steel-toed boots and uniforms.
Where is our God tonight
as they pin yellow stars to my people and shoot my Rabbi in the street?
Maybe He cannot hear our pleas.
Maybe He does not care.
We hear the whispers about the death camps and the death marches and the death of my people.
Tell me, please, of the streets that I heard were once paved with gold.
Tell me, how do fair treatment and fearlessness and freedoms taste,
for it has been long since I have felt that way.


Dear Chaya,

I prayed for you to the radio static last night.
Be brave, for if God will not listen to your cries, then I will.
America knows nothing of gilded streets, but I will tell you what my father tells me.
He says that painted on the inside of your eyelids are the secrets of hope and love and life itself.
It was written there for safekeeping and can only be revealed in
the very darkest of nights.
Chaya, the world is drowning in hate tonight—
Close your eyes.
They can make our temples into slaughterhouses
but they will never see what you can.


Accompanying Photo: “Butterflies”, © Corey Leopold, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.
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