by Paul Bluestein

The dusty synagogue window looked out 
onto the narrow Austrian street below
Unterbergstrasse, where— 
what the world called Kristallnacht  
and Jews called the beginning of the end—began  
The photograph on the wall
behind glass, cracked and dirty 
like the window
was of that same street 
in November 1938
Chained at both ends
crowded with people 
beneath a banner that stretched 
from one side of the street 
to the other, from one side of Europe 
to the other, a banner that read
“Juden Ungewunscht”
Jews unwelcome
On the walls of the house,
I read the inscribed names of the dead, 
and looking again at the photograph,
wondered if I was seeing the past 
or perhaps some lurking tomorrow

Paul Bluestein is a physician (done practicing), a blues musician (still practicing), and a dedicated Scrabble player (yes, ZAX is a word).  He currently lives in Connecticut with his wife and the two dogs who rescued him. Nearby, there is a beach where he finds quiet time to think about the past, wonder about the future, and lose his sunglasses.