On Tisha B’Av my fathers sat
by gravesides and memorial,
intent on grief,
on a Polish mound under iron skies
to stalk their prey.
Overtaken, its bitter yield,
salted by tears for their sins
and Zion’s pain,
strengthened them for exile’s task
and nourished hope.

They looked up from their graveside,
and far in the east
Zion arose from her hidden bed
and arrayed herself for her Lover’s eyes.
And they, the attendants,
the Bridegroom’s men,
sat watching for His joy.