30 December 2008

The Day of the Dead

We never buried her.
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now;
the news does not tell the story of the living.
It is the stories of the dead,
and the not-yet died.
Human nature?
A rabbi once told me, you drop everything for a funeral.
Even a bris is less imminent.
Funeral within 24 hours of the death,
but a bris on the 8th day –
the day of miracles.
People don’t forgive a rabbi who doesn’t show up for the funeral.
Burying people, saying kaddish.
It is the most you can do for a person.
It is the kindness she can never repay,
the kindness you do expecting nothing.
But we didn’t bury her.
She is on my aunt’s mantel.
In ashes.


  1. i hadn't seen this when i commented on the short version. i like this version a lot, better than the most recent longer version, and it's up there with the succinct one. I apologize if you didn't want critique of the poem. I get that it's deeply personal. I was struck by it.

  2. I appreciate comments and critique. Thank you.