Spoonful: A Gathering of Stone Soup Poets

An extension of Cambridge's Stone Soup Poetry Venue.

Poem by Rafael Woolf

Illustration by Laurel Lambert

To Mother

There you were,
Slowly losing the battle with age.
You may die any month, now, God forbid.
All it will take is a severe infection or a few more strokes.

It was Sukkos.
I had brought in a rabbi to interpret whatever you said into Yiddish,
But you were too intimidated by him
To talk.

The last words I said to you were, "Good Moed."
When I kissed you goodbye, you kissed me back.
That may have been the end.

Did you get my letter?

I sang to you in Yiddish,
Song sheets in my hands.
I talked to you.
I played "Itsy-bitsy spider" with you,
Played with you, I realize,
As if you were a baby,
Running my forefinger over your face,
Pressing your nose and saying, "Bzzzzz."

I tickled you feet, because you used to love that,
But at one point, you told me to stop,
The only one of two times you spoke to me in English.

I did my best.