Today I broke it.
I was trying to repair it
and instead I broke it.
Careless, I dropped it
and it smashed to bits.
After all these dry years, I weep.
A cheap plaster statue, I weep.
What meaning for me that I weep?
It was Isaiah or was it Micah
holding above his head an iron weight
and beating a sword into a plowshare.
He was breaking a sword and I broke him.
Ancient irony is lost on me,
There is only pain and loss to me.
The loss is tangible, touchable,
a holdable, sightful memory.
When I was a young boy my father took me
to New York, the House of Living Judaism
and, my hand in his, we saw the statue there.
It touched me. And my father’s touch touched me.
In my dad’s office was that
tiny copy of that
great memorable statue.
When I saw it I did not
see Micah or Isaiah.
I saw and felt my father
his touch and my heart was touched.
When he passed away, I, in tears
took that hidden tiny copy.
It meant so little to anyone
Yet to me it was his big hand
holding, caressing my small hand.
It was my father’s comfort touch.
It was my father’s secret dreams
and his tearful hopes and his prayers.
And today I broke it.
How long has it been,
since I wept like that.
The last time was when
you passed from my touch,
when I could no more
feel your so strong hand
as you held my hand,
as you touch me still.
The statue is gone.
I will no longer be able
to hand it down, pass it down
to my son, to my daughter.
The empty space where it stood
in my alcove, in my heart.
That place I hold, to pass down
and pray that they too are touched
as you have always touched me.
I pray that they will pass down
that empty heartful alcove
as you passed so much to me.
I broke it today but carry it still
carry to my grave and, please G, beyond.