Carol V. Davis



We dangle in uncertainty

midway between Yom Kippurs

like a child lingering

in the door frame

between the warm kitchen

and the beckoning snow

until her mother,

in a gesture of

distracted tenderness,

buttons the girl’s jacket collar

and nudges her outside.

This month cannot choose

between a persistent winter

or sliding into a too pale spring.

One week in April

snow falls without end,

the apartment windows shrink

to openings the size of a fist.

Brick and stucco give way

to slats of splintering wood.

We begin to float, rocking slightly,

one moment still street bound,

a view of The Prison of Crosses,

the next rocking on the Baltic,

isolated as Noah's Ark.



I have been thinking

about forgiveness,

how on Yom Kippur

we must ask each other,

for it is not up to God

to forgive what we do

to others in rancor or neglect.

How we hoard cruelty

parceling it out like

forbidden pieces of chocolate.

Where, in full winter,

you mocked me

or I demanded from

you what you cannot give.

Longing covers me

like the May rash

of buds on the birches,

the first mushrooms

mount the base of the pine,

so many steps on a ladder.

Last year's ant hill

resurrects itself in pure

faith of the coming warmth.

The lake by the dacha

begins to melt, spring’s

sprouting fragile as veins.

I want to drag you

from the city, to point

these things out to you

as if then you would

possibly believe

in some kind of future.



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© 2007 Women in Judaism, Inc.

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