A Jew in the Cupboard
for Tadeusz Rozewicz
The weather is uncertain out
and inside too as in Poland
after the war.

We talk of Rozewicz renaming
his world:  This is a tree, a goat.
This is the rebirth

of spring, a leaf, a man
a woman, whole
after the winter.

Right here drivers move through
an underpass, avert their eyes
to avoid men sleeping,

look away from women
shadowed in doorways.
One, nose bleeding hard,

runs to a doctor. A Walk-in
the nurse calls out. An Ankle’s on the phone
but we don’t do ankles here either.

Rozewicz might say
This is a shoe, a bar of soap,
This is a ring, a suitcase,

and we ask, What would you do
if threatened?  Would you
point to the Jew in the cupboard?

A man, a woman small as a dish.
In a closet a person
can stand tall, hiding.

In a cupboard
an object rests.  A small Jew
in uncertain weather.
©2008 Judith Pacht

©2008 Katherine Williams