She waited to tell me until after the funeral.
I’m no longer going to his house.
Not one foot in the door, not ever again.
It took a moment.
She meant God, the synagogue.
I never knew she thought of it as his house.
We never spoke of a Deity.
I thought of God as an old guy with a beard
floating around somewhere up there
who was capable of miracles
and whose name was called forth
when a toe was stubbed or a china dish broken.
We celebrated holidays. I dressed as Queen Esther,
lit candles in December,
went to shul for High Holidays.
We children went to Hebrew school,
ate brisket, potato latkes, sipped sweet red wine,
honored leisurely Sunday mornings
with bagels and onion rolls from Star Bakery,
creamed herring and smoked white fish from Nate’s.
In time she kept her sadness, but forgot the anger,
walked through the heavy doors for Bar Mitzvahs,
weddings, and other funerals.
She participated in senior lunches,
occasionally attended Friday night services,
murmured prayers from memory.
It was a comfort.
Sharon Lask Munson is a retired teacher, poet, lover of road trips, with many published poems, two chapbooks, and two full-length books of poetry. She grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She says many things motivate her to write: a mood, a memory, the smell of cooking, burning leaves, a windy day, rain, fog, something observed or overheard, and of course, imagination. She lives and writes in Surprise, Arizona. www.sharonlaskmunson.com
*Previously published in Poetica Magaine. 2014