Remembering the Dead/1

by Mark Chmiel

Dear Bella Levenshteyn

I take long walks with Joel in the park
The other day he told me about one of his  practices

Like some of our friends do yoga
Others  swear by their vipassana meditation

But early in the morning he goes on-line
Pulls up the web site

Types in a name
Hits “return” and views

All the “Rokhl”s that appear
Or all the “Yitshok”s

All the “Goldshteyn”s
Or all the “Salzman”s

It’s a short but daily practice
When for 10 minutes

He slowly reads aloud
The names on the screen

First name
Last name

Of those men women and children who were killed
During Nazism’s 12 years of terror

He’s been doing it for a couple of years
Trying to cultivate compassion and loving-kindness

Somehow

–from novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

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