When Darkness Swallows The Sun, poetry by Shelly Blankman at Spillwords.com
Ralph Nas

When Darkness Swallows The Sun

When Darkness Swallows The Sun

written by: Shelly Blankman


The darkness has swallowed the sun.
And I lay in my hospital bed as I have
for a week, tethered to cords and wires,
drifting in and out of sleep, wishing the dreams
would cease, the incessant tests would end,
so I could be home to the comfort of my cats again.

The world is an ugly place for a Jew like me.
I don’t want to be here, isolated from friends and family,
unable to share my grief. I should be with other Jews
sinking in the quicksand of antisemitism, a companion
in their pride and pain. The nurses here tell me I’m not
eating enough as they give me daily shots in my stomach,

flush my IV, dole out my meds and advise and assist me
to the bathroom. They ask me how I’m feeling, whether I need
painkillers. My pain is unbearable. But not from illness. Not from
shots. Not from anything physical. Not from buzzing for a nurse
every damn time I needed to go to the bathroom. I’m in agony
from being tied up in a world where innocent victims are beaten,

kidnapped, raped, and murdered because they are Jewish.
I cannot bend my neck or bow my head in prayer without
choking on wires. My hands are IV’ed and I cannot fold
them or think of blessings that make sense. The darkness
has swallowed me as I finally drift off to sleep, buried wrapped
in a coffin of cords. I’m startled by jackboots stomping down

the hallway, howling German accents I cannot decipher. I see
Nazis in their brown shirts, breeches, and boots stomping up
the hallway, hear their guttural voices shouting Juden, and in
my daze, I shudder. The dream fades into black, and I remember
where I am. But the reality remains and echoes in my brain –
my grandmother’s family captured and gassed, my grandmother

the only survivor, sensing her struggle to breathe, feeling her world
cave in, wondering what’s next. I’ll soon be home, free from IVs,
cords, wires, shots, and tests. I’ll finally be with family, friends,
and my cats. Untethered, I can join others to heal, assuage fears,
seek peace in unity with Jews who want to lighten their spirits,

knowing all the while that darkness will always swallow the sun.

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