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Poetry offerings from Jay Liveson

The scroll is cloaked 
in a glass showcase 
stripped of its velvet cover 
with its embroidered flame. 
Its parchment is splayed wide 
posts spread to expose the scriptures. 

Daniel passes it often 
on the way to Bar Mitzvah lessons. 
He has no inkling 
that Grandpa Daniel 
(whose name he carries) 
had read from this scroll 
though his skin 
did not merit preservation 
in the Nazi museum. 

Someday Daniel will press 
against the glass, note 
the charred scroll edges. 
Someday he’ll read 
the Hebrew text 
each letter adorned 
vertical flowing 
into curls and arcs. 
Someday he’ll notice 
a trail of oval blotches 
dripped across the parchment 
a clotted coagulum 
from the last aliya 
blessings murmured 
under threat of death. 
Someday Grandpa Daniel 
will whisper one again.


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