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The Nations Will See

July 21, 2020

By Lauren Fiala 

I am huddled in darkness, once again.
With an unstruck match in my trembling hand.
Deafened by the cries of a faceless despair,
Of a desolate world only light can repair.

But we have been warned by our fathers and mothers:
“You must covet your light from the eyes of your brothers.
You must discard your stars, and hide them in drawers,
And that light that’s inside, you must swear isn’t yours.”

So I covered my light from sight of the “other”,
But my hands drew too close, and the flame became smothered.

Now I sit with my match, and I yearn for the spark
Of my six pointed star that got lost in the dark.
But I’m caught in a fear from the stories I’ve heard.
So my match stays unlit, and I don’t breathe a word.

Then at once comes the thought, Could it be that the doubt
In the love for my neighbor is where the light was put out?
“That star is a target”, the history books cry,
But I sense in my soul that belief is a lie.

And the error of my ways in a flash is revealed,
That star is a magen, it’s the face of a shield.
And my sight becomes clear as I suddenly know
I discarded my armor in a drawer long ago.

Now I stand on my feet, and my match has been struck,
And I head for the drawer where my light has been stuck.
I will raise up the shield, as my star is set free.
I can carry the light, and the nations will see.

Lauren Fiala’s poem was a winner of the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement Emma Lazarus Art Contest.