A poem for Pesach
April 07, 2009
Pesach is almost upon us! Tomorrow I'll wake up early for birkat ha-chamah, detour to Pittsfield to pick up a dozen haggadot from Staples, and then high-tail it for Boston to have seder with my sister and her family.
As a holiday gift, I offer one of my favorite Pesach preparation poems. (This appears in my haggadah, so those of you who use the Velveteen Rabbi's Haggadah for Pesach may recognize it from previous years...) I doubt I'll be online at all tomorrow, so: for those of you who celebrate, may your Pesach journey be sweet!
Breakfast on kosher macaroons and Diet Pepsi
in the car on the way to Price Chopper for lamb.
Peel five pounds of onions and let the Cuisinart
shred them while you push them down and weep.
Call your mother because you know she’s preparing
too, because you want to ask again whether she cooks
matzah balls in salted water or broth, because you can.
Crumble boullion cubes like clumps of wet sand.
Remember the precise mixing order, beating
then stirring then folding, so that for one moment
you can become your grandfather.
Remember the year he taught you this trick
not the year his wife died scant weeks before seder
and he was already befuddled when you came home.
Realize that no matter how many you buy
there are never quite enough eggs at Pesach
especially if you need twelve for the kugel
and eighteen for the kneidlach and another dozen
to hardboil and dip in bowls of stylized tears.
Know you are free! What loss. What rejoicing.