death

D1848_05

This is the way we inform our neighbors
that one of us has died…
we mention the names of his mother and father,
of his or her children, if there were children…
Religious folk write, ‘blessed is the true judge’
at the head of the notice…
and non religious folks write,
he is gone
or she is gone
there is not much that needs to be said.
there is the time and place of the funeral
sometimes on the same day
and sometimes the next day…
we like to bury our dead quickly.
there is an address where the family
will be sitting in mourning.
On the radio
a brother, a sister, a close friend…
will say a few words
about what the person loved to do…
what mattered most to him or her…
this morning the husband of one
talked about the two sisters
in their fifties already…
they had done things together
all their lives
had studied together
when they were young
and worked as teachers
all these years in the same school…
best friends, who went off to vacation together
and were killed sitting side by side in a car
not in an accident
but by a cold blooded ‘freedom fighter’
who cut them down, looking straight at them.
There was a mother who cried for joy
because the bullet that crossed
her child’s chest…
missed his heart.
It was a miracle, she said.
the doctors will save him.
and there was another miracle this morning
when six men praying the morning prayer
in the synagogue,
were wounded… but survived
a missile from Gaza.
Blessed be the true judge.

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