After the fifth distant siren,
You force yourself to turn on the TV.
.פיגוע במרכז העיר
Deep breath.
You close your eyes and try to remember where your sons Nadav and Avihu had gone out.
Was it a friend’s house?
Not downtown.
The fire on the screen is too disturbing – everything is devoured.
You stop trying to discern faces – Why are you doing that anyways? –
And turn it off.
You pace –
When did you last hear from them?
You should just check in.

Two phone calls.
Two voicemails.

You tell yourself it’s fine,
Because it’s late at night and their chargers are in the kitchen.
You pace some more.
Should you call the hospital? But why?
Thousands of parents across the city are trying to contact their kids now and they’re all fine and why should yours be different.
But then you see a black car pull into your driveway and you know.
And you run to the back of the house so you can have one more minute where you’re not a bereaved parent.

Three knocks,
But you still revel in your doubt.

Slowly, deliberately, you open the door.
You try to smile while you’re doing it because will you ever smile again?
But when you see the boots, and the poise, and the uniforms,
You collapse into a heap on the floor.
And you open your mouth but no words come out.

.וַיִּדֹּם אַהֲרֹן

(Leviticus 10:3)