The Gallery – David Goldberg

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(The Cork Synagogue closed in February 2016)

1

Suddenly the Gallery was full of women
Who were not historians of yesterday
But witnesses of the last song when the Ark was closed.
It had not been like this since high holydays
When I was young.

2

My mother was one amongst the women
Who chattered and prayed between fur hats
While men shouted as if answering angry gods.
Always there was singing of the Russian songs
With a passion to crack the cup of Benjamin.

3

To day in the twilight of February
The Gallery was full once more.
As the voices sank into silence, memories drowned in the desks
Those women were the pillars of the synagogue of Zion
and now the pillars fall silent for the last time.

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