From my Birthplace in the Heartland of America,
To my Birthright in the Homeland of Israel,
I am with you.
As my blood pumps through my veins
Here in the Midwest
It cries within my heart, dwelling with you always,
In the Mid-East.
My heart, broken in pieces
As I stare at pictures from my home
In the Midwest
Of those ripped from their homes
In the Mid-East
Pictures of those with hearts in terror
Stolen underground to fates unknown
And of those with hearts now silenced forever
Beautiful, wide-eyed babies and children,
Brave young soldiers
Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents
Oh Israel!! Our promised land – our sweet and priceless gift… Yet what a price you have to pay
Over and over and over
With blood, sweat, tears…
And an unfailing love
Flowing from an undying faith
Though half a globe away, in the Midwest
I am never far from you, in the Mid-East.
I stand with you, beside you, praying for you
Am Yisrael Chai.
* * *
This poem is by Bonnie Rapkin, who is originally from Fox Point and has resided in West Bend for the past 35 years. She lives with her husband Rich and 2 dogs, Dash and Killian. She is the mother of three grown children and the proud grandmother of two adorable little boys. Rapkin is a former columnist and features reporter for the West Bend Daily News. She has only had the amazing opportunity to travel to Israel once, but she was there for a month, and it was a truly life-changing experience. It is her greatest wish to someday return.