Yom HaShoah: The Pear Tree

Pushed, panicked
into the closet.
A quick fierce reminder
whispered in darkness
shocks them to silence.

Petrified, motionless,
two small girls wait,
eyes staring widely
into the blackness
as hours inch
endlessly past.

The door at last opens:
stiffly they stumble
blinded by light

and out in the garden
against the blue sky
a pear tree is swaying
brushed by the wind, and
it whispers of freedom.

The idea for this poem arose from a talk I attended last year on Erev Yom HaShoah, at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. The speaker was Mrs. Chana Yair who was born in Hungary. She described her experiences as a nine-year-old girl who was separated suddenly from her family.


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