Stones – Ilanna Mandel

My mother’s ghost beckons to me
“Come” she said
Her spectral shroud undulates over the headstones
A fierce wind slaps my face
The frigid Canadian winter offers no solace
I close my eyes and pray this is all a dream
But her skeletal fingers curl in expectation
“Look” she says
I see her headstone
I see the headstone of my father
My legs freeze in place
A cemetery holds me hostage
Thousands of stones sit on granite
Reminders of ancestral visits
Finally I kneel down before their joint resting places
I bow my head in prayer
The Kaddish escapes my lips
“Rest in peace” I say
They will
Can I?


Ilanna Sharon Mandel is a literary, fiction, and non-fiction author. She has published short stories, poetry, two books and dozens of articles for publication in journals, magazines, newspapers, blogs & e-zines. In 2019, she wrote and co-produced her first film, A Last Wish. Ilanna earned her MA in Education from U.C. Berkeley and resides in Toronto.

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