As far as the sun will reach and the eye can see,
the anemones bloomed here.
They once grew a tall and fiery red,
then fell too soon at season’s end.
Come back to me.
I will wait in empty fields,
tracing my fingers through blades of grass,
until you return.
The ground shrieks my silent pain:
How many before?
How many again?
Israel’s national flower, the perennial kalanit (anemone), calls to mind both the fragile beauty of life and the resilience of the human spirit.
This poem, and the accompanying drawing by my daughter, were inspired by the children taken on October 7, 2023. It is at once a prayer for the safe return of all who are currently held in captivity, and a primal scream for each life stolen before its time.
It is also a solemn wish that we may live to see generations of children once again grow in peace.