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by Gunilla Kester

After the Storm
We parachute into a new garden,
borders erased, minutes changing size.

Can a frozen Eden be well-watered?
Pond’s ice-blind eye staring at a white sky.

Strangers follow the red moon. Grow
and diminish. Nothing plain in the unknown.

No longer visiting, yet they’re welcome, we set
a plate at the table for unnamed ghosts and guests.

Remember walking downstairs to hug a book,
to trace it, smell it, read a name? At Yad Vashem

a hand and names in tomes, tombs, no Paradise. At
Berlin’s Grunewald Station, track 17, metal plaques

one for each deportation of Berlin Jews, Oct. 1941-
Feb. 1945. None of them to Eden. Names extraneous,

not included. Fifty thousand names too many. They
follow moon and word, strange but not extraneous.

Knowing their names is constancy, not lunacy, syn-
ergy between then and now, holding them a choice.

It is boring, says my 7-year-old, stamping her bare foot.
You’re old enough to choose, I say, but know one million

and a half were children, just like you, murdered for being
what you are. If we don’t remember, who will?

Looking at the spring garden greening outside our kitchen,
I pray. When we leave, she comes along, hair brushed and braided

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