Yael Flusberg




                 WHERE SHE LIES IN STATE

                                 The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

                                                                    Rosa Parks  


  after the first three hours

  the temperature dropped to visible breath.

  my fall coat no longer protected and my toes

  went numb so i tried to transcend time

  by thumbing a rose quartz bracelet

  each bead proof of my will to persist,

  and i finally got why mom always said

  standing appels* for hours was a worse sentence

  than the death of her childhood.   


  in the muddy field where thousands of souls made solitary

  by the cold snaked around a makeshift fence,

  i found a handful of warmth, a single ruby glove.   


  i practiced standing meditation following the ringing

  in my ears to keep my mind from wondering why

  i was on this line, not in my down-covered bed

  when i'd see the coffin just as well in the newspaper

  in the morning. each time i lifted my sole i knew

  i was one step closer to the dome with 108 windows

  like a rosary i could pray with my eyes.  


  it was dawn when i finally circulated once around

  the ceremonial space then down to the crypt below  

  where i begged that her being where she was

  would bless where she was laying—and all of us

  who'll never have moments like hers on the bus

  will still find something worth standing up for.  



  * In the Nazi concentration camps, inmates had to stand appels—

  a protracted roll call—twice a day regardless of weather or exhaustion.

  Some gave birth to babies buried on the spot. Many others dropped dead

  during the hours-long appels or were killed if they couldn't maintain an

  erect posture.



   (Originally posted April 27, 2008)


   To contact Yael Flusberg send an email to: Yael36@aol.com