A Poem for Rosh Hashanah

I didn't even know I was Jewish until college, but the Jews win, in my mind, for solemn holidays. (Of course, Christians win for festive and accessible. I worship Christmas though I don't feel the divinity of Jesus at all). I've never been to a High Holy Days service so I guess that makes it much easier to like, for all the wailing.

Rosh Hashanah is all about being aware of your mortality. This poem was part of Rev L's wonderful service today, about death. I don't recall if she mentioned it, but the book from which this piece is taken was written in grief after the poet's daughter was murdered.

Death Barged In
by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno

In his Russian greatcoat
slamming open the door
with an unpardonable bang,
and he has been here ever since.

He changes everything,
rearranges the furniture,
his hand hovers
by the phone;
he will answer now, he says;
he will be the answer.

Tonight he sits down to dinner
at the head of the table
as we eat, mute;
later, he climbs into bed
between us.

Even as I sit here,
he stands behind me
clamping two
colossal hands on my shoulders
and bends down
and whispers to my neck,
From now on,
you write about me.


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1 comment:

Boo said...

Oh my, that really is how it is ... beautifully written, thanks for sharing it.


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