Collection Plate

I am collecting those names from the year when answers no longer could rummage through the back pages


touched her knees

Brooke in the backyard. Brooke between the pools. Between the white, plastic lawn chairs. Brooke who would have been twenty-one

you dare to go in a girl.

Cousin Maryland will never laugh my mother says and my father avoids her eyes and talks about the expected finality in it all.


on Overbrook


in the snow


And I miss everything sour, my hair and dust collecting in fields and it’s triumphant, the dust is contagious,

I blame our childhoods

and I should have kissed

that crow before seeing the field

and remembering my family.

Coarse green carpet

the stoop above East Flatbush

Brooklyn cement

and fleshy infant knees

could be chilly in winter.

Leading stairs to Hebrew engraving light

from the kitchen.

Rosemary and


and so many

(so many!)

long zuppy noodles

swimming in chicken’s yellow

golden swirls on china.

I was left, for an hour or so, in the landlord apartment


cleared except myself and the rooms.

Green olive branches,


lined the walls but memories change

what could have been

just leaves on the wallpaper.

Tell a child of holocaust survivors–

You didn’t mean to say baggage– and I can’t

leave without Imodium and Lorazepam and my mother’s worried because I don’t have a hood.

You are going to leave

and I can’t contain

music crying from winds caught in the corridor.

I am not the incredible child

I am calculating the time

I am collecting the words

when one part

becomes a memory and

then it’s remember remember

wrinkles in the pages

forcing a meaning from remaining


Son of Yankel

Son of Jacob

Son of Israel.

One thought on “Collection Plate

  1. […] to write a memoir/narrative fiction about my family’s story. I write poetry dealing with memories, Brooklyn, the holocaust (which can be found on this site under the “Poetry” tab) but […]

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