the final time I saw my mother
she was trying to find
the last strawberry on her plate
I lay a Haggadah by a chair,
Unearth my Seder plate,
place upon it shank bone, egg, parsley,
bitter herbs. My bitter tears.
From our window, grosbeaks
and buntings tangle into flight. The hours count
earlier now, because of the way they are lit.
Here are my two sons in 1968
In their father’s arms.
He looks harmless.
They look doubtful and uneasy.
Once in a while the tufted sky would break open into dazzling radiance. I would often look up from my reading to behold a waterfall of fiery light, as if the Golden Fleece were hanging in a waterfall shedding all its precious minerals into the valley below.
I hoped returning
would spark memories, fill her with light,
the way the heat of day warms the bones.
I could talk
Two hours past midnight with
My father in the steelworker
Idiom of his city.
The rain isolates you the way not even silence can.
Everyone around here is sluggish. The young woman who checks my purchases off the conveyor belt dabs her eyes and stifles a yawn. She keeps shaking herself awake as the … Continue reading
The monks of Europe often planted their vines in cemeteries to ward off thieves, and believed you could taste the blood of ghosts when you drank. My mother would sip her wine and look away dreamily and then back at me as if I had come home from a long journey, with the Mazda parked in her driveway.