This in observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day late.
In 2013, I wrote this poem in Israel the morning I heard the news of Gisèle’s death. I was attending a conference on Women and the Holocaust in Israel, and my talk was about her heroic and unusual life as a Tunisian Jewish woman who joined the resistance during World War II, and experienced the war both in France and in Tunisia.
On This Day
On this day, women gathered to remember women, like you
Turning a flicker of hope, an act of kindness, a mother’s touch into a flame of eternal Memory
A humbling act indeed, for me, to name you
I shall not easily forget the twinkle in your eyes that told me you
Even after you had stopped using words, your actions spoke for you,
On this day, women, young, old, and in-between, shared stories of
And even those who did not live, who do not live, who cannot live
Will always be among us now; their stories become ours as we
Even after we stop using words, our actions will speak for us,
And so the flame remains eternal
On this day, you will be remembered
N.B.L., Nahariyah, Israel, March 5, 2013