I take extra care today to make sure
Sheets are tucked underneath the mattress
The bedspread draped evenly all around
Pillows fluffed upright at the headboard
The room ready for company.
I supervise the kitchen like she did
Directing people to dishes
In that cupboard
Silverware in this drawer
Napkins on the table over tere.
Food, plates, candlesticks
At the ready on the buffet.
Long-ago uncles mumble hellos
Forever-aunts wander about, numb.
Her still-shocked friends attempt comfort.
I walk through the mournful throng
Sit by my just-made friends whose duty
Brought them here wondering what to say.
(It’s okay, you don’t have to stay.)
The first night, and every night of shivah
The sunset---hot pink and gold---
Our diminished family pretends
To eat dinner at the usual time.
Haiku for the Fashion Minded
Triangle Fire, sweat-
shops, piece work for pennies a
pocket, the small change
job with long hours for
those who ask no questions, who
eye only the profits
earned. Yes, sweatshops still
exist; cheap labor for high
profits. That never
goes out of style. Some
hire designers who can draw
but can’t hem, attach
a sleeve or insert
a zipper on their own. Want
to avoid a wracked
conscience yet still make
money? Nothing new to learn:
just work hard, treat all
who work for you well
and know your craft and the art.
hack can copy. Take
chances, lead the way. Be you.
Be you. Only you.
From the Spring 2020 issue of The Reform Jewish Quarterly
published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis