Tikkun Magazine

Tikkun Magazine, Winter 2011

Song for Babi Yar 

by Corey Weinstein

Autumn leaves of red and gold and many green then fell,

Floating down the steep ravine, falling pell mell,

Is it birds or is it cries that I hear drifting by,

Sparrows or scared throes on soft winds they fly?

On two days in every year since 1941,

Thirty-four thousand leaves fall down,

I know I've counted every one.

Starting on the twenty-ninth ‘til September thirty-one,

Dizzy fall from an iron crossed call,

And one by one ‘til they're all done.

Babi Yar where are you, no signs that will bring me there,

Hid behind a sickled fist, the savior of the mortified,

Crushing leaves on walking by,

Trees renewed by the black lake of forty-one.

There we stood some years ago with shadows reaching down,

Into death we knew was there from Kiev town,

There we stood our hearts were black with shadows reaching down,

In to the deep place of grief we had found.

Could they know that Yom Kippur would be their final end?

Swept up from the city's streets the flyin' killers to then rend,

Many more would fall as well not just the tragic Jews,

Mourning for sev'ty thousand more for the brave resistance we did lose.

Babi Yar I see you now lit up in '91,

Now I see a steep ravine empty with memories,

Bubbie's leaves are floating down,

To the echo of a Kaddish this grim harvest sown.

Corey Weinstein is a San Francisco-based physician and surgeon certified in classical homeopathy. He is a long-term human rights advocate for prisoners, and currently work with the American Public Health Association, California Prison Focus, and the WHO Health in Prison Project.

Source Citation: Weinstein, Corey. 2011. Song for Babi Yar. Tikkun 26(1): online exclusive.



tags: Poetry & Fiction