A black drape flutters

before my face or is it

a heavy veil of smoke


while offering prayer

for a friend

following a cremation.


Let the dark pall shield my eyes

dim my mind from knowing the process

of immolating a beloved soul, flesh, bones.


While Jewish law forbids cremation

I ask further how a family rights this

course after the holocaust,


after human beings delivered

such a means of death.


Nancy Smiler Levinson

Nancy Smiler Levinson is author of MOMENTS OF DAWN: A Poetic Memoir of Love & Family; Affliction & Affirmation, as well as numerous stories, and poetry that have appeared in publications such as Confrontation, Phantasmagoria, Poetica, Touch: The Journal of Healing, Survivor’s Review, Blood and Thunder, and Drunk Monkeys. A CNF piece was a Pushcart nominee in 2015. Nancy lives in Los Angeles.


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