Awake. Hard platform, six to a bed, striped pajamas. Smell of human filth and ash. Awake. Soft queen size bed with Basset stretched against him. Awake. Shivering in cold. Awake. “Soft work”, he’d called it, programming a computer. Awake. Modeh Ani on his chattering lips. Awake. Dry-cleaned tallit across his back in shul. Awake. Washing death of sleep off in a muddy puddle. Awake. His yahrzeit. Awake. Save this story for your children. Awake. Carrying this weight is hard, Zayde. Soldiers marching. Knock on a door. Guns in streets. Tombstones overturned. Never sure if he is dreaming or awake.
David S. Hendler earned a degree in writing from the University of California, San Diego. He was taught by Quincy Troupe, Victor Hernandez Cruz, and Kathy Acker. After working for several companies as a senior corporate writer, he has returned to his love of personal stories. As a poet, he won the title of Slam Poetry Champion of San Antonio and appeared in the documentary “Slam Planet.” His one-man show, “Living Under Water” won him a “Best of Fest” honor in Austin’s Short Fringe Festival. He can be found on twitter @freetaco.