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Song for Susan (to her sons)

By Marina Blitshteyn

u'fros aleinu sukkat shalom

(Hebrew: "Spread over us a shelter of peace.")

Not the way in which a house

falls, its two

doors flung open

into the darkest night

of mourning

nor the fire of a soul

in song, its tongue consumed

with the hush of a sha

and the close

of an om

only this to us --


inexplicable memories, like woven strands

of a tallit,

frayed at the ends, the face

hazier than it would be

yes shut, palms out

meditating on the bimah,

on the house

of peace,

its surface and

safety, the shroud

at her shoulders,

the light and

two doors.

MARINA BLITSHTEYN dedicated this poem to the memory of Susan Wehle, the cantor at Temple Beth Am who died in the crash of Continental Flight 3407 in Clarence. A tallit is a Jewish prayer shawl worn while reciting morning prayers as well as in the synagogue on Sabbath and holidays. A bimah is the elevated platform from which services are conducted in a synagogue. Blitshteyn, a graduate of Williamsville East and the University at Buffalo, recently completed a stint with Teach for America in New York City.

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