REQUIESCAS IN PACE, HAROLD
In pace requiescas, Harold,
while you’re being Christmas caroled,
having died, most people say,
on what is known as Christmas Day
to goyim, but as Hanukkah
to Jews. Not just your moniker,
but all your history declares
that you were Jewish. But who cares?
Just those who think ethnicity
provides the electricity
that keeps a man alive, but you
denied this. For you, being Jew
became irrelevant, it seems,
as unremembered, drifting dreams
that self-extinguish, like the lights
of Hanukkah’s eight-candled nights.
Antisemites bothered you
as a youth, but when you grew
you came to see it as uncouth,
and deviated from the truth,
which is that Zion’s protocol
still takes from Jews a dreadful toll,
though one that didn’t toll for thee,
undone when from your Jewroots free.
Not atavistic was your tale.
All remnants, like the coccyx tail
reminding us we come from apes,
you thought of as mere phantom fetish,
a burden when you’re being British.
You specialized in silence. Rest
in silence, for you were the best
practitioner of this deep art,
which with your death will not depart
from all those who will long enjoy
what sounds the same to Jew and goy.
Inspired by Harold Pinter’s death today, December 25, 2008, the fourth candle of Hanukkah, 5769.
© 2008 Gershon Hepner 12/25/08