I remember

I remember 

By Sofie Kreidstein 


I remember seeds 

yet to sprout 

just waiting 


waiting for a rainy day 


their blossoming 

cut short 

left to fertilize 

the ground on which they lay 


tripping over gnarled roots 

ancestral scars 

entangled by adaptation and survival 


I ask my bubbie what memory remains 

beyond our blood and their bones 

that lie beneath pebble covered graves 


she responds: 

why would I think about the old world 

when there’s so much shit to deal with in the new we laughed 

she cried 

then silence 

I remember fragments 

of their twisted mother tongues 

sung softly 

to the tune of klezmer lullabies 


I remember 

I hold 

I live 

in spite of all the pain 

that came before me 

that remains 

and is to come 

that ancient wound 

infinitely deep and ever healing

picked open again and again 


I remember 

in all of its guilt 


carried on that peculiar wind 

that came with their shadows  

in the woods 


I remember their faces 

as I watch myself age in the mirror 


and their voices through kindred

subtleties the shape of my lips 

intonations I mirrored 

in the echoes I hear 

moments before I sleep 


I remember their bodies when I lose my own

and remember their touch when I return 


I remember 

not in facts but in my body 

in my unconscious knowing 

and unspoken feeling 

in the dance of my DNA 

a ladder I wrestle my angels upon 


I remember but sometimes I need to be reminded

I remember in the mere fact that I exist I

remember what makes that a miracle I remember

even at times when I yearn to forget 


I remember 

when I can 

all the joy of remembering 

I remember until I become memories 


I remember 

איך געדענק 

I remember

Header illustration by Sofie Kreidstein. 

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