Kaddish – Emily McAvan

You’re alive still but

Already we’re sitting,
slumped on plastic chairs
as the TV amuses itself.

Vending machine fed, our stomachs grumble
like an orderly pacing the halls,
our tears drip like IV tubes.

Cover the mirrors,
still all the songs,
there will be no showers,
no haircuts,
no weddings.
Not yet.

Soon I will recite the mourner’s prayer
every day
until there is nothing
left of you but a candle,
lit once a year.

Yitgadal v’yitkadash…

Emily is a Jewish-Australian writer whose work sits at the intersection between religious and secular.

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