Everything’s pretext for mourning, so when
that old space bird fell in fiery pieces
across west Texas, burning up the son
of Holocaust survivors, I thought of you

How the worst had come as a surprise so
many times at last it could not surprise
because you kept it always with you, near,
the hurt intimate with your heart, too close

For anything like comfort – when I saw
the face of the Israeli astronaut’s
old father, I recognized the look, like you,
unsure that survival is a blessing,

Steadfast, even when he’s most despairing,
For we and our world are past repairing

February 2, 2003

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