Thursday, February 26, 2015

I want to go home-A mother's plea

Her new home-
she's come a long way, baby
Laura Ashley-
goyish, but gorgeous,
delicate, refined
the smell of  “Waspy” freshness
in every corner-
“It's very clean” she mutters, an accent 
 of some far away spot
far away from the shimmering shores of the Hudson river
and so long ago, before her world died,
when she could boast  of a father
with  modern machines who
could crush kernels into
and recite the  mantra of
lines of gentile farmers waiting for
the miracle of a wealthy Jew-

“I want to go home” she declared, eyes blankly looking ahead 
at some dim memory of 75 years ago-
“and where is home” she is asked, fear in the daughter's voice,
lest she reply
“the Queens!”
“Sosnovitch” came the barely audible 
a tiny shtetl
 of carefree days,
not a Jew in sight today, unless 
you dig a bit underground.

Another home, another grey haired lady 
lost in the emptiness of time
upon hearing her plea-”I want to go home!”
a social worker asks, pity and professionalism mingled in a desperate mind,
 “Where is home?
And she answers with a certainty born of confusion

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hands-in memory of Betty Lederman, 1917-2015

Kneeling, not in church
but by mother’s bedside
not standing, superior, dominant,
not even equal in line of vision
but humbled in devotion 
to her source of life;
her cold, red hands 
caress the stretched out skin
of blue veined hands,
almost bloodless with age 
and severe anemia
“Azoi kalt!” she exclaims
eyes widening with surprise and concern
the supplicant still kneeling, rubs the skeletal bones 
of her personal supernal Imah,
and coldness thaws, redness turns pink
and the warmth of a mother’s heart 

flows beyond blood’s coagulation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Modeh Ani-Thank You

Modeh ani,
Good morning God,
My thanks to Thee,
For the usual and the odd

I open my eyes,
Wriggle my toes,
What a surprise 
 and know what nobody knows

I can bend my knees
And do as I please
Jump out of my bed,
Or roll off instead

Hear my heart beating,
Either fast or slow
Up and down belly breathing
Like putting on a show

On a wintry morn
Shivering and cold
I snuggle  reborn
A life to unfold

My heels on the rug
Soft and sure
Toasty and snug
I feel so secure

Sounds all around me
Silence and snores
A morning melody
The opening of doors

Through the clear window
I am able to see
Lights coming on below
And   rising sun’s   mystery

My  nose  can smell
The toasting of bread
My ears can tell
Of a family  being fed

A mother’s smile,
A father’s hug,
Lying back a little while,
Relishing life’s tender tug 

my eyes still shut
 I open my heart,
getting out of the rut
A new day to start

 Im alive, with no effort
And nothing  must I do,
For Your gift and support
I sincerely thank You.

A WInter's Snow

On a rocking chair,
By a winter’s window,
From prayer book I stare
At the glistening snow.

The white beyond price
Disappears in the speck
Of a droplet  of ice
On the edge  of the deck

As if in trance,
All the colors in the sky,
A moment of chance
Nature’s miracle I espy.

Like a neon sign
Flashing off and on,
My heart could only pine 
For the rain after dawn

Not to advertise,
A car or  boat,
Nature’s wonder  to promote.
And open heart’s eyes.

Many minutes  go by
And all I could do
Was to fix my eye
On  God’s  tiny clue.

Green and red ,
Like traffic lights above,
Gentle guidance ahead,
Flickerings of love.

It’s Shabbes and  quietly I sit,
Looking in  the book and looking out,
To catch God’s presence if only a bit,
Within my soul a silent shout.