In Memoriam: Marek Edelman
He has known the darkest heart,
watched the cruellest incision.
Edelman examines the donor
organ, considers the watchtower
guard who observed the children
of the ghetto. The fissures
and pipes of this heart remind
him of Warsaw's gas-filled sewers.
The consistency of the colour -
the delicate hues of the valve -
reveal the sewer-water's bloody
tinge, the metallic bile of close
thin air. Disfigured hearts can be
saved, transplanted, re-nurtured,
stented. But he knows that every heart
has its price - will struggle or baulk
at acceptance. Yes, even the guard
on the watchtower, the one who aimed
a gun at children scavenging food.
His heart too could be saved.
Edelman scrubs up and walks into
the operating theatre. A Cardiologist
is like a gardener, someone once told him,
nurturing life in barren ground.
Edelman didn't disagree - "The nation
is our common heart", he said -
small talk that helped pass the
hours as they hid underground.
He pulls on his gloves, dons
his surgical mask.
Yes, replant this heart - replant
it far, far from the ghetto.