Stonemason

 

Outside the Ecole des Hospitalières St Gervais, Paris, a plaque
commemorates 165 Jewish children deported in 1942.

 

He takes his slab of quarried stone
measures it, cuts to size,
etches the inscription.
No space for names,
just the numbers: one-six-five.
Crystal fragments spill like tears
around his bench, as tungsten
chips the keening marble,
stuttering hammer-head on steel
echoes through the silence
forcing truth from its rocky bed,
ash-white dust clings to his fingers
as he sands and buffs the fine Carrara
smooth as a lip’s caress on infant skin.