Yom Ha Shoah

I at least one of my near ancestors was a Scottish Jew never having spoken of it his silent grave markers ingrained in each cell of my body each synapse of my mind each note of every score I write my father's people never mentioned it it is the precious tusk in every room the dust particle glowing in the corners of windows without which I'd be blind to every shadow

II we are Celts and Jews mangled from many holocausts our diasporas have traded paths on several continents our spices mingle with our poetry our stories marry themselves from many braidings our music has become theatre for our nourishments without which our cultures would become plowed under and there would be no questions asked

III and what are we without our questions we do not need straight answers we have heard too many revisionist replies from those who would like to pave over our established trade routes to pave new narcissistic societies for themselves

IV Scotland 1945 cities and towns in shambles many soldiers dead and families broken those survivors -islands with swamps for land and not even seeds of hope yet those who lost so many were those who asked the non-rhetorical questions to rebuild our communities to try to heal the worst wounds and deepest scars even while mourning within every hour and every day since.

V I am now old like my marriage I've confronted several tectonic shifts but each of those plates has been replete I remember the stories enough to know that I must always have a packsack full to have with us if we must leave suddenly because those tusks and dust mites have been misunderstood.

Diane Stevenson Schmolka
April 19, 2018

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