Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine, Contemporary Jewish Writing

Dana Robbins earned an MFA from the Stonecoast program of USM.  Her books, The Left Side of My Life and After the Parade were published by Moon Pie Press. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and on the Writers Almanac. 

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For Chaya Under a Blanket of Earth
Dana Robbins

Tonight, I am an American

tourist having the most authentic

Israel experience of all

– Hamas missiles from Gaza.

In no real danger, in Tel Aviv,

I wait nervously for the siren,

strain to hear the whistle of incoming

bombs. Burrowed under too many

blankets, I strive to be casual

like an Israeli, not the soft American

I am. Sleepless and sweaty,

I count the cars that go about

their business undeterred, listen

to voices of people enjoying an

evening by the sea.

Yesterday, at my cousins’ table,

as they plied Steve and mewith

salmon and bourekas, I learned

that during WWII, the family fled

Kiev for Tashkent. And that Chaya,

my cousin’s grandmother, died there,

was buried under a blanket of earth

in a mass grave. I studied her

picture, this great grandmother

I never knew, she looked familiar,

my mother’s face in her. As I lie

in bed, I think of her, pray to be strong

for Chaya, strong enough for whatever

part in Jewish history is coming my way

this long restless night.