Walking by a bulletin board, I saw that a local writing group has an open mike next week; the topic is "Mystery." Somehow, the first two lines of a poem immediately entered my mind. I was too busy at school to scribble down my thoughts, but before I left my office, I tucked "a woman's notebook," an old empty journal Margaret from the Northern Women's Bookstore had once given me, into my packsack (backpack), pedaled home in the dusk, then wrote these lines.
The mystery is how did Albert Einstein’s
ghost appear before my eyes this morning?
He’s a genius, I know, but I wasn’t expecting
his time-traveling shape-shifting presence
on my screen. He wasn’t a hologram
His message from the other side was clear:
A warning to the American people. Materializing
from “the existence of another kind of matter, the ether”1
he warned of the rise of a new political party,
the Freedom Party, whose name belied its “gangster methods”
“the terrorists,” he said, “have preached an admixture
of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority."2
Before he went back through the pixel portal
of his Letter to the Editor, NYT 1948
He warned of a violent future for Israel
if Menachem Begin’s party gains power on a platform of
Jewish ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority.
“Albert,” I called before he disappeared into the
“ether of the general theory of relativity,”3
“Your worst fears have come true.”
Albert Einstein’s words from
2 Letterto the Editor, New York Times, Dec. 4, 1948
1 and 3 “Ether and the Theory of Relativity,” address delivered May 5, 1920, University of Leyden.