Bracha Goldstein
Heart Full of Words; Soul Made of Ink
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A Warm, Steel Box

'My hand trails the cold, steel door. A picture of rubble covering all those things flashes through me'
ILLUSTRATIVE: Damage caused to a house after it was hit by a rocket in Nahal Oz, on the border with the Gaza Strip on July 27, 2014 (Edi Israel/Flash90)
ILLUSTRATIVE: Damage caused to a house after it was hit by a rocket in Nahal Oz, on the border with the Gaza Strip on July 27, 2014 (Edi Israel/Flash90)

“It’s brand-new,” he says, showing us the third room. “You know, they make us put it in here.”

He is apologetic, as though a steel door to a steel box with a built-in filtration system makes me think this house is cold.

He doesn’t quite know how I feel.

The screech of steel sliding across the window

the way the walls close in when the door slams shut

the sound of the box above and the box below sealing families securely

stacked one on top the other

waiting

huddling

praying

laughing because the shower curtain practically came with me this time

and she was on the toilet

and he left his sandwich on the table

and they’re jumping up and down because they’re just brave

and I, with no faith in miracles, believe in this box.

These walls

this door

is all I have to rely on.

“You can take it off,” he says, misreading my eyes. “Put it back if there’s a war.”

“There is no time,” I mumble, remembering how we were sitting on the couch and the siren rose, and we ran and turned off the gas and grabbed the kids, slid the window, slammed the door and sat in a pool of adrenaline you can never be prepared for,

My daughter sleeps in our steel box. My son is light and easier to transfer.

I don’t sleep at all.

We walk through the rooms again, looking to see how we can fit our things in this amount of space. My hand trails the cold, steel door. A picture of rubble covering all those things flashes through me.

Our blood, our bones, our hopes and dreams

our accomplishments

our failures

our futures

our lives

stuffed inside this warm, steel box

Yes

We can fit it all in this warm, steel box.

About the Author
Bracha Goldstein is a creative writer and artist living with her husband and two inspiring children in Israel. She writes reflectively, using her unique perspective to bring emotional thought to life.
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