Broken Glass From the Perspective of a Jewish Feminist

When I think of broken glass I think
of that earth-shattering,
glass-shattering promise
my parents made
to declare their love
for one another,
the symbolic crushing of the glass
before the wedding guests danced
through a summer night of ’98.
 
When I think of broken glass I remember how
last summer
a rock was thrown through the window
of a Holocaust memorial
in Boston,
and I think of how
we already have scars on our hearts
from broken glass.
 
When I think of broken glass I think
broken glass like red glitter,
red like when the streets ran scarlet,
ran scarlet like the waters of Egypt;
I think
broken glass like under the foot of a Jewish groom,
the foot of a Jewish groom cut by
the glass like red glitter
in the streets,
streets were strewn with broken glass
from the window
of the Holocaust memorial
in Boston.  

 

I think broken glass and I think
glass ceiling,
the words that mean
that I live in a world
where the systematic oppression
of women has its own metaphor,
the words that have been
over my head for as long as I can remember.  
 
But what I have learned is that
if something is breakable,
we will break it, and
someday I will tell my daughter that
a world trembling from the shockwaves
of a heaving patriarchy
made this glass shatter;
an angry woman with a long
broom handle
and a glint in her eyes
made this glass shatter;
this glass was
cracked by a river of tears,
but broken by a flood of dreams;
this glass was
just waiting to be broken;
this broken glass is
our gift to you,
that you may
live,
and thrive,
and speak,
and love,
and never forget
where you came from.