Sarah Shapiro

Springtime in Jerusalem 5784

It wasn’t yet hot, and wasn’t cold.

Not young anymore, but not really old,

either. People are suffering, yes. It’s true.

The world’s on fire. What can you do.


So she took herself shopping, first time in a while,

to do something nice, just to put on a smile.

Strolled here and strolled there, and was glad when she met

up with a friend. They chatted, and tried to forget.

They talked, laughed, and went

their separate ways.  But then

in mirroring windows all along she was trailed

by someone who knows her,  and how she’s failed.

Oh, come off it, she mutters, under her breath .

Who can think so much about life and death!

Gimme a break!  Is this such a sin? Look! The skies

are blue and the sun’s bright. The grass is green, clouds white.

I can walk, talk, breathe, and delight

in everything in sight.


His thoughts are concealed.

Who understands

that which is unrevealed,

the work of His Hands.


So she goes and has coffee, holding hands with herself,

storing thoughts of the captives up away on some shelf.

How good just to sit there, with eyes and ears,

looking the other way. No screams here. No terror. No tears.

To just notice she’s alive.

A relief for a moment, not to strive.

To just leave behind

the war in her mind.

About the Author
Sarah Shapiro's newest book is "An Audience of One, and Other Stories" [Mosaica/Feldheim]
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