Skip to main content

poetry Kaddish

Esther Kamkar’s prayer for the dead addresses the vast universality of war’s human tragedy.


By Esther Kamkar

My friend is saying kaddish for the fallen in the Ukraine this week.

The prayer for the dead to sanctify and glorify God’s name.

We killed thousands in Afghanistan and Iraq for twenty years.

Include the fallen Russian soldiers in your kaddish, I tell him.

Esther Kamkar is an Iranian-American poet, the author of poetry collections "of such things.”; “Hum of Bees”; and “Hummingbird Conditions.” She lives in northern California.

If you like this article, please sign up for Snapshot, Portside's daily summary.

(One summary e-mail a day, you can change anytime, and Portside is always free.)