Sunday Poem

“Before the beginning is the end of another beginning.” —R.Bob

History of the Future

Again a new era has been promised. It’s
already here, curled like a fetus. About to be born.
They say it’s a new world. But here is the history of its future:

Somewhere at some point in time
documents and papers will be required.
There will be a receptionist at a government office
or a security screener at an airport, but
in every era somewhere in the world
a gendarme is liable to demand papers.

This means: Somewhere in the world a passport will be forged.

And someday an army will invade a city, called
Prague or Baghdad
or New York. Any name is possible.
Many things will happen under cover of night.
Knocks on the door.
Arbitrary arrest.
A father torn from the arms of his child,
His disappearance.

Many things will happen in broad daylight.
In the marketplace and the stock market, trade will continue as usual. So will
the pogrom.

Very soon the mob will join in:
Spraying slogans against one minority or another
for one reason or another. A demand
will be made to prohibit entry to the continent, the country
or the grocery store.
At its door a puppy will wait for its master.
Someone will leave behind books and photos,
an old blanket, a magnificent armchair of happiness.
And someone he loves.
But he will not forget to take a coat.
With pockets. As long as he leaves in time
with his face. And with cash.
Many will flee on foot.
Some will escape by train.

There is no escapee without a pursuer.
There is no shelter without a storm.
The world is a rifle butt
The night — flashing police cars.

At least one person — perhaps even you? — will lose
the way, pray it ends. There he is, look,
leaning on the parapet of the dark;
boats going by downriver
and cars on the bridge
grab him
for a fraction of a second.
He jumps.
Or stays. But manages to fall away
like a view through a window.

Your window, perhaps?

by Shachar Mario Mordechai
from Toldot ha atid
publisher: Even Hoshen, Raanana, 2010