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when do prayers become bedtime stories,

when do holidays become histories?

when is candlelight a memory?

 

why must star necklace become a weapon?

why do i nail blue glass to wood frame, and do it because i feel i have something to prove?

 

(why do open doors become silent thieves,

why must i resent what i should welcome?

when does adopted bird become unwelcome cuckoo,

resting in my nest of sparrows?)

 

that song is a call above—

rather, it is a history.

i open my arms and welcome you,

but inside i ask myself cruel, unfair questions.

there are my ancestors, heads bowed in forbidden temples.

where are your ancestors?

where is your history?

 

i clutch my necklace and my histories

and i cannot stop the beat of my heart that turns your words into lies.

why must your presence turn me into the liar?

 

(this is not a torah but a history book.

this is not a religion but an identity.

i am defensive of that which i should not be,

there is bitterness in my welcomes.)

 

i wish i could greet you warmly.

(i am sorry that i cannot.)

 

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