Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall / Time.

Just recently I went to a Bar Mitzvah,
For the son of an old friend.
I marveled at how this college comrade had grown him.
I could still see her across a cafe table,
over a pot of tea, an Apricot Jewel on a plate between us,
and art history notes scattered before us...
She had waited for this day.
Pretty soon this will be Lily, she smiled,
and then returned to her coming-of-age creation.

It's these rituals that tug at me,
deep within my chest.
Always happens in sacred places
the beauty almost too much for me to bear.
The voices soft yet strong - finding home amid
stenciled walls, onion domes, Eastern patterns,
dangling, stately lights.
And as we move through the hour,
all I can do is keep the ache in my throat
frozen at bay
for fear if I exhale
out will come
the sobs,
the surrendering slouch
of a person still grappling with the

And while I don't long for this particular ritual for Lily,
I am envious of the opportunity it offers -
the ceremonial invitation into adulthood
the acknowledgement of how far they have come,
the opportunity to celebrate the strides they have taken
every day of their young lives, until this point.

Shouldn't they all be commended for their
arrival and survival?

I search the ceilings for answers.

Growing up is no small feat.

This place is part of our culture and reminds us of some of our roots,
though I am a believer in many spirits - not just One.
But when I see the rabbi place her hands on a gently bowed head
and hear the whispered murmurings between them,
it is Alan I see
with his hands on
Our Girl
and I imagine what she will look like
when she reaches that age.
I can see her head bent, dark downcast eyes,
I see bangs and length,
soft cheeks and awkward grace.

Surely she would listen, quietly, to his affirming words.

It is these life moments
that strangle my gut...
and thrust me into "how will I do this" mode -
without her Dad to help me guide her.

But sure enough, he showed up that morning,
in the form of another old friend's encompassing and gentle warm hand,
that reached for me toward the end of the service.

It's okay, Sus, he said through her touch -
It's okay.

All I could do to keep my heart steady,
was look up at the patterns,
to keep the tears from spilling.

But then they closed with one of my favorites,
a relief to hear,
it loosened the Hold
and sent me on my way.

This version, my all-time favorite:  Turn Turn Turn


Friday, October 2, 2015

She's a Rainbow

it feels
has happened, in our
Teenage Explosions that shower
all around me
and the heat of it all
melts my resolve
and then rushes on

Such power
She has,
in her six year old frame
the anger and frustration with nowhere to go but

over to my corner
where I brace myself
against nothing but
hope and the spine that used to keep me so
and ready
for anything

And then I have conversations,
in my mind,
with Alan -
and while he tells me she's just grappling
and struggling and missing and longing,
I tell him it feels like
she's thinking it's my fault,
she's mad at me that
I could go away

I think she'd like a
to get
Then maybe we'd see more
of her
cooler colors.