A Heart Afire, and an interview with the Rebbe
Omer, interrupted

Another mother poem (also a poem for Pesach)


When a truck cuts me off
on the day which will become
the first evening of Pesach

I slam on the brakes
and the crockery in the back seat
slides forward with a crash

unpacking the dishes
in my sister's kitchen I weep
as though they mattered

the next day
a mental thread snags
on the calendar's sharp edge

my cells already dividing
into hair and nipples,
eyelids and tongue

I choose grape juice
for my four cups of joy
not yet able to imagine

your squeals of delight
as I chant the fifteen steps
from kindling the candles

to singing Had Gadya,
the unfamiliar joys
of our newly-disordered lives

Pesach began this week. As I prepared for the first night of the festival, I couldn't help remembering last year: driving to Boston for seder, my inexplicable weeping when I broke a couple of dishes, and then my realization the next day that my emotions might be running high for hormonal reasons -- that I might be pregnant again. That memory is what sparked this week's poem, which is another in my series of mother poems.

It might be helpful to know that the word "seder" means "order;" that it's customary to drink four cups of wine during the seder, and that wine can be understood in Judaism as a symbol of joy; and that Had Gadya is a song which traditionally concludes the seder.

I didn't write to this week's Read Write Poem prompt, but if you want to read other RWP folks' poems, you can find them linked in the comments to this week's Get Your Poem On post.

On a related note, I remain deeply sorry to hear that RWP is closing up shop. I hope that the relationships and reciprocal readerships which have evolved via Read Write Poem will continue. Having co-founded a literary arts nonprofit which closed its doors not long ago, I can imagine how Dana Guthrie Martin and the other RWP admins might be feeling at this moment. Thanks for a great ride, y'all.