Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine: Contemporary Jewish Writing

In Training
Florence Weinberger

In memory of Uriel Liwerant

Not by suicide bomber or sniper accuracy, not even friendly fire or stray bullet. In
training. Death by training. Training to kill. To evade. To defend. To be ready in case.
Training exercises, just like the real thing. A real tank, massive, complex. A real ditch to
navigate. Training to transcend. In case the rhetoric escalates. In the event of an attack on
the Sabbath, on Tisha B’Av. Train the eye, teach the muscles. Because launchers of
unsheathed missiles may get impatient. This brief peace is a gift, a time to focus the
errant mind. Isn’t youth prone to distraction?
                                       An unfathomed breach of attention; the second split as if by
lightning, and he’s left only the breath to warn the others. Before the tumble, the crush.
He’s the soldier in the photograph standing next to his tank. Leaning back against its bulk
as if the hum of its viscera is the stim that starts his blood surging. The volunteer who
steps forward first, the incipient hero who will save lives. Beside him, a pride of his
family. Look at him, all teeth and human joy.