“To whom do we entrust the custody of the public memory of the Holocaust? To the historian? The critic? The poet, novelist, or dramatist? To the surviving victim?… with the exception of surviving victims, all are witnesses to the memory rather than rememberers themselves.” – Lawernce L. Langer
There are some traces of trauma that linger,
Like gangrenous garlic on the roof of ruin.
They are the aftertastes of being eaten.
A people group bears the dirty secrets of one of their own.
A walk in the park turns into stroll down misery lane.
It is not their fault you tell your brain, your heart feels only pain.
The slow sense of sinking.
The wordless weight.
The heavy blanket of holy harm wraps its arms right round the neck of your new life —like a loop.
The trauma tightens, breath becomes jagged, matching the familiar fracture.
Yes, this too shall pass you tell yourself.
Rhythmically, you mop the floor,
You remember the days you clung to it.
You pour the plates into the dishwasher.
They remind you that in this house there are eaters and in another, you were eaten.
You pour the wine.
“That was my body,” said me.
“This is my Body,” said He.
“This was my blood,” said me.
“This is my blood,” said He.
Do This In Remembrance of Me.
I am a Rememberer.