Since last Shabbat, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the Pittsburgh shootings. I’ve had trouble sleeping, enjoying my daily activities, focusing in class, and doing homework. I’ve found comfort in friends, talking to family on the phone, and attending various on-campus memorial services and discussions. For Spanish homework, I had to write a poem on any topic, and it only felt right to write about what happened. I’ve been searching for an outlet to release my feelings, and this felt like a good start. This is just a rough draft of the poem; hopefully I will continue to grapple with and process my emotions and feelings and edit/add to the poem. But here goes:
A New Day
Families sit together in warm embrace.
The words and spirit of the Siddur and the Torah fill their bodies and hearts.
People sway like flickering candles.
Song fills the room.
Suddenly, a shot pierces the melodic harmonies of the service.
Prayer shawls, books, and kippot crash to the ground.
Screams and sobs drown out the music.
People leave the building running like stampedes of wild animals.
G-d looks down from the sky and cries.
We look up at G-d and we cry too.
We are one heart, one family.
From all over the world,
we hear the shots.
We see the blood.
We feel the pain.
We are well accustomed to terror and tragedy.
But we have also become masters of
We all cry,
we all pray,
and with tears in his eyes
and fear in our hearts,
we do what we do best:
store the memory of those we have lost in our hearts
and begin to walk towards a new day.