Around Half Moon Bay, I thought the funeral was supposed to be silent,
but in the cypress trees, small sparrows chirped above the grave.
Back at the house, we left empty glasses on a dark table
scarred from years of drinks.
And the news reported something irrelevant:
Somewhere in Europe, all the boats crashed on a local dock.
Around Half Moon Bay, a mother washed her child’s weakened body,
sick with broken and warring cells.
Back at the house, my am’mah read a fortune in my coffee grounds.
This isn’t a good cup, she said. Maybe next time.
And the news reported something relevant:
Elie Wiesel died, at a hundred-twenty years old.
Around Half Moon Bay, a palm-reader read my palm
and told me the president would be reelected.
Back at the house, oranges sat in a bowl in the living room,
since my father said the fridge killed their sweetness.
And the news reported something strange:
The messiah had come, but had only resurrected the Yiddish language.
This piece is a part of the Berru Poetry Series, which supports Jewish poetry and poets on PB Daily. JBC also awards the Berru Poetry Award in memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash as a part of the National Jewish Book Awards. Click here to see the 2021 winner of the prize. If you’re interested in participating in the series, please check out the guidelines here.
Maia Zelkha is a poet based in Jerusalem. She is passionate about history, language, and literature, as well as the spiritual and surreal. Some of her publications include Furrow Magazine, Ghost City Press, the University of California’s Matchbox Magazine, The Mandarin Magazine, and Blind Corner Literary Magazine. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.