The Shomer (Paperback)
The Shomer explores the role of the watchman and guardian in the context of daily routines and significant life events. In Jewish tradition, the Shomer serves in the role of watchman. Among his/her responsibilities, the Shomer is charged with safeguarding the body of the deceased against desecration before burial. According to biblical commentaries, the human soul is somewhat lost and confused between death and burial, and it hovers over the body for several days until interment. While watching the body, the Shomer comforts the spirit of the departed by reading, meditating, and praying.
More generally, the term Shomer has been used to describe an individual who acts as a guardian in the context of both daily routines and significant life events. The goal of the Shomer is to witness, to attend, and to protect those who can no longer protect themselves. Under the best of circumstances, the Shomer gains a glimpse into the liminal, into what happens in the space between love and loss, hunger and fulfillment, forgetting and remembering. The Shomer's poems seek to illuminate the vigil we all keep as witnesses to our own lives and the lives of others and to expand upon the stories we share to safeguard love, hope, history, and a belief in art's power to heal.