A Haiku Inspired by Two Memorials
as vast as canyons
hard as suffering, these stones
stand strong, mute, nameless
Along the borders of my summer run two shadows from the valley of death: New York’s National September 11 Memorial (which I saw in June) and Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (which I visited in September). As I watched news coverage of the moving roll call of the dead on 9/11, I couldn’t help but recall how the rabbi reads names at every Jewish service in observance of Yahrzeit, on the first anniversary of the death of a congregant’s relative. At the end of the list, our Reform rabbi always mentions those who have no relatives to pray for them. The haiku above is inspired by these two memorials and the losses they represent.