In Tzfat this Evening
The Klezmer festival music plays on
and the fireworks blast into the sky
exactly on time at ten, brilliant and loud.
But the ceasefire broke apart before
then, hours before—and Code Red
sirens blasted in the South, in Tel Aviv,
in Jerusalem, shortly after then. Still,
sitting in the courtyard we hear
music from three stages echoing
Moshe’s Lego rockets became
fishing rockets and fireworks rockets here,
but when we go back they will remember
that they are Hamas rockets. The Legos
fit together so well. He builds them like
planes, with wings, and like spaceships,
with elaborate purposes and missions.
Tonight he enjoyed the fireworks;
he wants them every night. These
first rockets an aesthetic echo of
war rockets; a rhetorical trope to
resemble tractors where spears
fly into the sky at night and clatter
loudly in our conscious minds—enter
our sleep and crack open our fears.
Like last night when I dreamed that
a mortar shell came over the Quneitra
Crossing while we picked apples, and
tore you apart. I took the children
away from the burning orchards
and woke aware of a small miracle—
your breathing next to me,
our children sleeping calmly.
And I imagine Gazan children who
will find fear in fireworks, only fear—
reminders of destruction instead
of wonders of color and light.
Let Lego rockets take the weapons
into space and carry them into the sun.
Let us watch the lovely fireworks
as they burst open approaching
our star, explode amid the melted
plastic of a child’s imagination
run up against the realities of
fire, heat, fusion—physics
teaching adults that entropy wins.
Even the Klezmer music must stop.
But the wonder and fear of children
continue to grow—their energy indestructible.
—August 19, 2014 (revised version posted September 16, 2014)