Claudia Serea's Angels & Beasts
Notes from Shabbat Shuvah at Elat Chayyim, fall 2003 / 5764

A post-Rosh Hashanah poem


I empty the mother jar
measure flour and water
cover the bowl
with a dishtowel tallit

browse the fridge
for one wilted celery
and a faded fennel bulb,
today's wholeness offering

soon uneven dice hiss
their comforting song
as the freezer yields
what it's been withholding

this is how I return
after days of aching ankles
and a heart cracked open
from overuse

stir the unctuous richness
of the holiday now over
match it with pepper
make up the recipe as I go

there's no time
for sourdough's spaciousness;
and how can I cook
when I'm empty as a shofar?

but I feed my own hunger
by turning sad odds and ends
into something fragrant
and sustaining



This is an early draft of a new poem. I suspect that in a week or two or six I'll see ways of improving it. But for now, I wanted to share it.

All feedback welcome, as always.