Sunlight streams through the filmy
curtains of a man’s hotel room. He
stirs, hearing joyful sounds of a crowd
on the street below. Rouses from bed
to the window. A crowd has gathered
in joy to share in beating an old man,
yellow star visible on his tattered coat.
The boulevard is busy with shoppers.
A brilliant sunny day in spring,
twitter of bird song in the linden trees,
a man walks, blue sky and his reflection
in shop windows, a lightness to his step.
Despite himself he feels happy, thinks
Glorious day! Must remind himself,
And all my friends are in jail. Breathes,
beautiful day! And again, All my friends
are in jail. Is it Berlin, 1933?
A child washes up on a beach along
the Mediterranean, a father weeps,
bystanders weep. Sadness sweeps
among us. We turn to our day,
is it raining? Is snow coming, is it
a day to wash a car, a day to read?
Who can hold another’s pain for longer?