The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday, Passover, What You Leave Behind

The Witness
By Muriel Rukeyser

Who is the witness? What voice moves across time,
Speaks for the life and death as witness voice?
Moving to night on this city, this river, my winter street?

He saw it, the one witness. Tonight the life as legend
Goes building a meeting for me in the veins of night
Adding its scenes and its songs. Here is the man transformed,

The tall shepherd, the law, the false messiah, all;
You who come after me far from tonight finding
These lives that ask you always Who is the witness –

Take from us acts of encounter we at night
Wake to attempt, as signs, seeds of beginning,
Given from darkness and remembering darkness,

Take from our light given to you our meetings.
Time tells us men and women, tells us You
The witness, your moment covered with signs, your self.

Tells us this moment, saying You are the meeting.
You are made of signs, your eyes and your song.
Your dance the dance, the walk into the present.

All this we are and accept, being made of signs, speaking
To you, in time not yet born.
The witness is myself.
And you,
The signs, the journeys of the night, survive.


I spent all morning working on a review of Deep Space Nine's beautiful, sad finale, "What You Leave Behind", which remains extremely well done and quite heartbreaking all these years later. I needed to get it done early so that we could go pick up Daniel from College Park for Passover (Adam is coming tomorrow, as are Paul's parents). Other than catching up on Dig, which remains delightful crack worthy of Dan Brown, and The Flash, which is just fun, that was most of my day.

We went to a lovely seder hosted by some of my parents' oldest friends, attended by all of their children and grandchildren -- many of whom I've known all my life -- as well as the friend with whom we often break the fast on Yom Kippur. I got to talk superhero movies, local politics, and travel while eating wonderful food! Here are some photos of the group, my family, "Elijah" coming in the door, afikoman prizes, and some of the seder, including the plague of wild animals and Pharaoh refusing to let people go.


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