Diana Damato offered a group on May 22.

Diana currently leads three AWA workshops called Sharing Our Voices on Paper from where she lives in Keene, NH. They are all now online using a Zoom platform and one has drawn participants from Western NY, Oklahoma, and Florida. She also co-leads summer and fall one-day retreats with a chef/expert gardener colleague called Giving Voice to Our Senses – a writing experience that connects us to Earth’s bountiful spirit.. 

We thank Diana for her leadership and Barbara for sharing her work with us!

In the Forest

by Barbara Krasner

In the still of the night, when only the sounds of the forest lay naked before him, Israel tried to recall his mother and her loveliness. The way she’d brush her lips against his forehead when he felt feverish. The way she’d spoon him chicken soup when he fell off the thatched roof trying to patch a worn spot with Tata. The way she took him by the hand on Market Day or asked him if he had all his books for kheyder, his school.

He did not want to recall the image of her body’s removal. An unrecognizable mass. As he studied the ground in the aftermath of the stray bomb, he found her Sabbath kerchief, the special white lace one with the cross-stitched roses. The one she wrote to light the candles in that millennia-old tradition of Jewish women.

The kerchief, remains of it really, stank of charred earth and flesh. Israel—then still Srul—held it to his nose to find some trace of Mama, some evidence of that loveliness. He stuffed the kerchief into his pocket the way he stuffed his boyhood name, Srul, deep down inside to let Israel come out. Israel said to him, “Hush, little one. It’s time to sleep. I will take care of you from now on.”

The underbrush now rustled. Israel stirred. He should have gone into the bunker. The snap of twigs could only mean two things: discovery by the Germans or the return of the partisan raiding party. Israel closed his eyes. He held his breath.

Footsteps approaches. A hand on his shoulder.

That’s it. He was done for.

Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!

For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.

We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!

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