Holocaust 1944

Holocaust 1944, Laitman

TRACK 3: Both Your Mothers Both Your Mothers by Lori Laitman
for Bieta

text by Jerzy Ficowski, translated by Keith Bosley
music by Lori Laitman

Under a futile Torah
under an imprisoned star
your mother gave birth to you

you have proof of her
beyond doubt and death
the scar of the navel
the sign of parting for ever
which had no time to hurt you

this you know

Later you slept in a bundle
carried out of the ghetto
someone said in a chest
knocked together somewhere in Nowolipie Street
with a hole to let air in
but not fear
hidden in a cartload of bricks

You slipped out in this little coffin
redeemed by stealth
from that world to this world
all the way to the Aryan side
and fire took over
the corner you left vacant

So you did not cry
crying could have meant death
luminal hummed you
its lullaby
And you nearly were not
so that you could be

But the mother
who was saved in you
could now step into crowded death
happily incomplete
could instead of memory give you
for a parting gift
her own likeness
and a date and a name

so much

And at once a chance
someone hastily
bustled about your sleep
and then stayed for a long always
and washed you of orphanhood
and swaddled you in love
and became the answer
to your first word

That was how
both your mothers taught you
not to be surprised at all
when you say
I am