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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Poem A Day - Poem for April 6, 2009

Today I actually wrote two poems, because I wrote one in anger and realized it was too personal to post. So I wrote another one that I posted on Poetic Asides with Robert Brewer. There are probably over six hundred fifty poems on there. Way more than last year!

Here is the prompt for today:
"I want you to write a poem about something missing. It can be about an actual physical object or something you just can't put your finger on (like "love" or "the spirit of Christmas" or something)." (from Poetic Asides with Robert Brewer).

Some of the poems were amazing. You should go to this website and just read the poems. Some of them tear out your heart!

Here is mine. I have to say that this was not easy to write and I probably should have written something a little lighter, but this is what I wrote. I have linked
some of the words you might not know for people who are not familiar with Passover and Jewish customs at Passover:
A Passover seder table
Empty Seats
by Barbara Ehrentreu

The last seder with Dad we set
the table in the dining room
with your embroidered tablecloth
stitched with intricate flowers
(that is now mine).Dad sat at the head.
We and our cousins, still in our teens
and twenties mocking his serious tone as he
kept a straight face amid
the laughter and joking.You played along
shushing us as if we were kids
at the kids table

We laughed at the archaic words –
seeing sexual innuendos in bible
language translated by well meaning
matzoh companies in free haggadahs
as we plodded through the entire first part,
each of us thumbing to the place where we’d eat –
Our stomachs rumbling, empty from starving
ourselves all day in wait.

I remember before we ate the meal – the ritual.
You used to love to break up the eggs
in the salt water. You and your sisters delighting
in remembering this family tradition.
Then at last your homemade gefilte fish, your
homemade chicken soup, your chicken, your
brisket, your potato kugel and tzimmes
We ate until our stomachs almost burst

This year the seder table will be set
with the special plate sectioned
for charoset, bitter herbs, burnt bone,
hard boiled egg, horseradish, and salted water .
Though the food will probably not be
homemade, and I do miss your chicken soup.
Your face aglow with the steam
as you scooped out the fat.
Skimming the spoon across the bubbling
liquid until it was clear. While I hunted
for the good china, the good silver
kept under wraps to be used only
once or twice a year. I remember Dad’s
voice reassuring, gentle
and yours reminding and judgemental
telling me to use care as I
set your bird glasses, (now sitting
in (my kitchen cupboard), at each place.

Nineteen years for you
and thirty-seven for Dad
Around the seder table for all these
years there has been a space
no one can see but us,
your son and daughter
who can envision
what life would be like if
our children had grandparents. Haggadahs
copyright 2009 by Barbara Ehrentreu

A seder plate

The picture that has no caption is matzoh, the unleavened bread eaten on Passover.

Until the next time, please leave a comment or your own poem about what is missing for you.:)

Thank you to every reader and to my new friends on Blog Catalog. :)


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