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A Final Hallelujah

Ron Charach
From:   Forgetting the Holocaust. Frontenac House, Calgary, 2011


news item: Leonard Cohen asks that performing artists desist from recording his much-covered song "Hallelujah"

Lord, grant us gravitas
if not for what we have been,
then for what we have seen:

so many sisters and brothers
swept away
by the undertow of Creation,

so many bodies recovered
with unrecognizable
faces.

Grant us the grace
of a wise old man
who pleads no contest
to failing anatomy,

but immerses
in the inevitable sway
of the elements.

Spare us the fate of women
who become sport for armed warriors,
until murdered, at the point
past novelty.

Lord who bade Leonard Cohen
write "Hallelujah",
and delivered it
unto k.d. lang to sing,

Lord of our ancestors,
Lord of the candles,
God of Small Things,

Take full measure of our verse
even as we ready the hearse
and prepare to deliver

one more of our kind
to your calibrated
mercy.

Grant us gravitas
at the lowering
of the burial cables,

if not for what we have been,
for what we have seen,
and, so often, borne alone.


Ron Charach's works copyright © to the author.


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