Choose Life: A Poem for Uvalde

Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman

The sky was bright blue as it often is somehow when somewhere someway death interrupts:

The shock of someplace something awful but not here but yes, here:

I feel it pulsing just under my skin if I close my eyes because anyway the sky is too bright the sun is too hot for spring and

I feel strangely light and empty like the blood is draining from me too but from where will my strength come where

can I look?

To the hills?

To the hill country where hearts and souls are gutted because beds are empty tonight and forever?

It’s a landscape I don’t know, but easily could. Because we said it every day in school back when guns didn’t follow us


One nation under god.

Now a nation staggering under hate and death. Under desks under bullets everywhere.

Ducking hiding crying calling parents

if I don’t make it goodbye.

More calls more bullets than we can count.

Death count.

Life count.

A foreign land that’s right here, my country, my lawless lifelorn country that I want to grab by the neck and wring a pulse back out of








—-Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman