Saturday, September 28, 2013


For a long time
I kept every stitch
you ever sewed.
I thought I would
unravel if I ever let
a single memory go.
Now I know I can
pass your love on
with each stitch I sew.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


She remembers that morning clearly,
the morning she pushed her first born
out into the air - pure urge, exhilaration,
amazement, awe, ravenous appetite.
Nurse laughed when she ate two trays,
rushed to kitchen for extra cherry pie,
described her daughte'rs suckling lips
as a tiny rosebud, opening. She couldn't
remember how to dial the telephone
but knew exactly how to delight
in warm curls between her breasts,
heavy head trusting her strong hands,
tiny fingers gripping her thumb for dear life.
She will remember that morning forever.


Compared to him
I had life easy.
Compared to him
I took death hard.

Compared to him
I held on fiercely
Compared to him
I kicked and fouight.

When he died
I lost tomorrow.
When I lived
I found today.

When death comes
may I meet it  
with  good grace
I learned from him.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Two Lives Ago

She read the letter again slowly.
The handwriting was hers,
recognizable if neater, loopier.
She hadn't exactly dotted the i's
with hearts, but stopped just short.
She'd been nineteen, two lives ago.
She read the letter again slowly.
The themes still were hers,
connection, hope, phases of the moon.
She'd chosen blue rice paper stationary,
His eyes were a deeper blue, azure.
She'd been nineteen, two lives ago.

She read the letter again slowly.
The spirit was still hers,
though the man lay long dead.
She had laughed, loved, thrived
without him, as he'd promised.
She'd been nineteen, two lives ago.


Monday, September 23, 2013



I choose
how I
use it.

Remembering Joy

I am a serious person.
Laugher is not my music.
I seek peace, purpose,
forget to value happiness.

At new year I squirmed
when the rabbi extolled
as most holy, most precious
the gift of a happy heart.

Then I remembered earnest eyes
of oldest grand son when he
reminded me that strong words
go down easier with a smile.

I am a serious person.
Laughter is not my music.
I have to work at its tune.
I remember to value happiness.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Against the Unspeakable

Children writhe and scream
on cold hospital floor in Syria
Go still. Exterminated.

Orthodox Jewish virgins
naked, hid tender breasts,
fell shot into pits of Baba Yar.

Emit Til smiled at a white girl,
floated up beaten, bloated. Six
church girls exploded in Bombingham.

Tootsie, Hutu, dead, dead , dead,
crunched under wheels of jeeps
on river roads in Rwanda.

I vomit. Response is limbic,
Deeper than words, Unspeakable.
Shame. I cannot face my reflection

I  know I am of the species of
monsters who. laugh and kill
gloat and justify, dehumanize.

Rage. I am of that species.
Can't deny I imagine Adolf Hitler
handcuffed to a chair, me avenger.

Scimitar to his throat and  smile
on my lips. Howl in my throat,
his blood on my hands. No remorse.

Helplessness. Hitler is long dead by
his own hand. Today's genocidal killers,
psychopaths, monsters, I cannot touch.

I have no power. I can only hide and cower.
Today, tonight tomorrow, they may come
for me and mine. We will simply die.

I wash my face and remember.
my ancestors did not cower and die.
They fled Portugal's Inquisition, started new.

Sewed their gold and jewels into
the hems of their garments, faked a
costume party, chartered a boat,

Shame paralyses. Rage self destructs.
Helplessness is a deadly illusion..
King of Denmark put on the Jewish star.

Paul Kagame saved refugees in Hotel Rwanda
Nelson Mandella persisted in prison.
Rosa Parks sat. Dr. King marched.

Anne Frank wrote her diary, Otto Frank shared it.
Billie Holliday sang out lynchings strange fruit
Aushchwitz survivor wears Jewish star. solid gold.

I will vomit, but will wash my face,  find my feet.
In face of the unspeakable, I will struggle for words.
I will remember love has triumphed and can again.

I will not cower helpless, but will fight back, escape.
I will not be ashamed. but will immortalize the victims.
I will not rage but will organize to prevent, protect.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


hold fast to belief that
whatever happens
I can choose its use.

I will not release need
to transform energy of pain
into, service,

I hold fast to belief that
each choice in each moment
is freedom, is power enough

Monday, September 9, 2013



No delete key in life.

Good, I think.

Too much responsibility

to decide what to undo.

I regret, repent, make amends.

Struggle to use each harvest,

assault, connection, loss

to grow, create, serve, love.