mardi 28 juillet 2009


for my mother

i come from a tribe
a long line of
proud women with
long noses and proud chins
who held the world up with
wide skirts and chicken soup
who spoke their thoughts without
thinking too much and thus
created a universe unto themselves
where feelings were not
to be bandied about
but kept alive and open

like our tender hearts
even if they were blown apart by
cruelty or disgust or grief too deep
to rise above

when it thundered
adelaide and lydia broll
sprang for their closets
they spoke fluent yiddish but
never admitted to being jewish
and it remained an enigma for us
until we put together our heads
and thought about it hard
and why they kept it from
their children all those years

a familial revolution
breaking through
the alcoholic stupors
as the women rise up
drunk and cross eyed
and say, "enough!" to
an anxiety undenounced
in quickstep to
Reichian marches
an anxiety undiagnosed
passed along bloodlines and
sweat, closeted
yet made more conscious by
fermented potatoes and malt

unspoken anxiety of
who would be next
who raped, who gassed
who turned into lamps
in those desolate times
at the end of train rides
and forced marches to
no music but a madman's voice

and now we turn from
this horrific history
and bellow our feelings
into the infinite unknown
we're no longer numb
no longer drunk at the bar
we not only feel courage
but spread it around in
the retelling of our stories
we're reconciled to our tribe
to our mothers
and we forgive them
our loud but self-edited music

8 commentaires:

Jan Hersh a dit…

I do love this poem. It sings an ancient song of genetic and spiritual connection and dances a tribal circle transcending all time.
Forgiveness transcends and transforms.
Brava ma poette-artiste!

Moineau En France a dit…

jan, ma sœur, je me suis très emue de tes commentaires. j'avais des difficultés avec la fin de ce poème, penses-tu que ça marche maintenant? la fin que je t'ai envoyée était différente que cette fin, et il y a des quelques autres éléments aussi qui sont un peu différents. dis-moi, ça marche complètement pour toi maintenant? j'ai apprécié le temps que tu as pris pour lire mes petits poèmes (et les poèmes de longue-forme––très longs en fait!––aussi). c'est juste que cette fois, j'ai lutté plus que normale (pendant des jours!) et il y a une grande question dans mon esprit: ce poème ça marche vraiment??? ~ lt xoxox

Jan Hersh a dit…

sleep on it
first stanza ending -
too deep to purge

from memory, I liked the first ending better.
sleep on it

you are still revising and will until it's perfect for you

Jan Hersh a dit…

C'est toujours un plaisir de te lire!

Moineau En France a dit…

alive and open like our tender hearts
even if they were blown apart by
cruelty or disgust or grief too deep
to rise above

keeping the revised final stanza... :>>)) xoxooxox

thanks for your great help! xoxoxooxox

Jan Hersh a dit…

c'est plus fort, plus explique...more detailed...peut etre C'est fini..attends...tout va changer un de ces jours...jusqua cet jour...tu as cree un poem pour tous les filles et fils de la holocaust un poem triste et plein de la verite au sujet de denial of an absurd realite

Mary Stebbins Taitt a dit…

"bellow our feelings
into the infinite unknown"

Such a beautiful and heartfelt poem--and important--to live and feel and express those feelings!!

Moineau En France a dit…

thanks so much, mary. that unnamed anxiety almost destroyed my mom and me; once we figured out what had caused it, we liberated ourselves... xoxoxoxoox