A reflection of stars, smoke, and clouds of red.
They ripped my father’s prayer book.
Men with square chins, freshly shaven faces
contorted and red, shouting “Juden!”
The clocks in my father’s shop, smashed like cockroaches.
They dragged him out to the stone streets,
laid him on his back, encircled
by screaming people who had smiled
before, neighbors who walked us to school.
The air was filled with their voices
and the stench of burning wood, papers.
The synagogue where my family prayed
burned down, our rabbi taken.
I held my brother’s hand, a tightened knot
of fingers. My father broken, his blood
a stream weaving among shattered glass.
Daniel I. Beilman is a poet and writer from Dallas, TX. While poetry is his first love, he has also dabbled in fiction and is working on several manuscripts geared toward young adult readers. One of Daniel’s greatest professional accomplishments was placing 8th in the Writer’s Digest 84th Annual Writing Competition. He also is the founder of a local monthly poetry reading and discussion group called Coffee Cups & Poetry, which aims to connect poets and poetry enthusiasts through reading, writing, and coffee. When he is not writing, he can be found playing with his newborn daughter, binge-watching Netflix with his wife, or playing his harmonica on a rainy day.