Category: Poetry

Shut Out

The came a few hours ago
‘I’m in trouble”
She started
I can usually gauge by the
sound of her voice
It all boils down to this
I can’t
I won’t
“I NEED to call somebody else”
…and she did

I cannot tell you
the rest of the story

It has not happened

I can only pray

I did not sleep well
last night
I’m tired
I’m stressed
and I feel
like I let her

Love has to be tough
I’m not sure I did
the right thing
but this situation
has to end

I sit here
waiting for
the other shoe
to drop

and I’m sure
it will

but the question
still remains

will she call me?

or will she shut me out
once again?


Family History IX

Dad brought my Mother
to meet my Grandmother
She actually liked her
My Mother was smart
something she did not see
in her own daughters

Ny father was the first
in a family of immagrants
to go to college
Some aptitude test said he was supposed
to become a Dr.

He hated the program
and transferred promptly
to a sister college
UNC Raliegh- called NC State
He joined the army
He had 1/2 a semester
to go; WWII is raging
…and word on the street is
that Jewish boys
are BUYING their way
out of army
My Dad has to
prove Hitler wrong;
he enlists
My Mom flips
but sees his point
She is 18
He reasons
that if he leaves
what happens
to his love?
She’s in NY
He decides
to marry her
therefore she will
come live in NJ
with my Grandmother
and Granddad
but he is in army
and is shipping out
It is Friday…
…he’s going
“Over there”
on Monday
OK- Ma-ma-
I’m getting married
make her a dress
invite my cousins
I’m getting married
whether you like it or not

Call the Rabbi

….and it was

…and so it goes

Family History VIII

My Father met my Mother
on a blind date
He was heavy
but he was good looking, bright
and funny
he was a teenager; not sure how old
He travelled in from NJ to her home
in NY- Queens (Flushing)

I tend to doubt
that he drove in
My Grandparents
hated the thought of my Dad
driving in the city
I’m quite sure my Grandmother
was peering out the window
until he got home

He continued to see her
She was pretty, good figure,
smart; and Jewish
YES, it did matter
(if not to Becky~
than to Joe)

This was the start
of a relationship
that would last
through: High School;
college (in NC),
WWII, alcoholicism;
drug use- depression
A very special.
very deep~
very true love
and to quote McCartney/Lennon
“A love that should have lasted years”
It did
It lasted
a lifetime

….and so it goes

Family History VI

With 3 children growing
and one by one marrying
The Matriarch who did not
really raise her children
now balks at thed idea
of losing them
She buys the house next to hers
and offers it to her 2 older daughters,
their husband are offered jobs
at her dress manufacturer
They take the deal
It is, after all, the GREAR DEPRESSION
Becky is not stupid
She wants her children near
so she provides
In a sense; she buys
their love
The young woman want love
from a disapproving mother
They marry because Becky says
school is not necarssary
for a woman in the 1920’s
My Aunt wanted to be a teacher
Ma-Ma said “No”
No money
My disappointed Aunt
worked at the factory
and became pregnant
In a family of mostly girls;
my “dumb” Aunt FINALLY
pleased my Grandmother
She gave birth to a boy-
a premmie-but Fate was on
my Aunt’s side; thank G-d;
the male child was to live
He ran the family from the first
got away with all his pranks

Let me say this
My Aunt- I loved her
very much- IF she was
guilty of any “crime”;
it was loving her son too much
Dumb? NO.
No-one in this family lacked brains
but woman were useless.
They had children and unlike
“Ma-Ma”; they actually stayed home
to care for their babies
but to Becky; her daughters
lacked ambition

I come from a very long line
of workaholics….
only I would break that chain
but remember….

I’m not born yet

I can only write what
I was told
My Grandmother
would tell me stories
each morning
and it’s amazing
what I remember
I was told these
stories nearly half
a century ago

…and so it goes

Family History V

When I picture my Grandmother
it’s always the same
She was looking out a window

My Dad also

But that’s besides the point
My Grandmother considered
herself a good mother

She had 2 (useless) daughters
…and a son

The only one she loved
(if she had the capacity
to truely love anyone)
it was my Dad

She had him after her
first son; Bernard
had died- he had
the plague

My Aunts were older
They told me
that my Grandmother
suffered a rather severe
depression after Bernard’s death

she had not caused
his death

which brings me to my
Aunt Rose
who was Pa-pa Joe’s
My Grandmother said
this woman had ice wather
running through her viens

I had met Aunt Rose
because my Dad took me there
once a month
and I could be wrong, but
I know it was there
that I saw my cousin Abe
They say he fell off a ladder
when he was a young Man
Only in retrospect; do I make
this connection: Abe was probably not
He had….a twisted neck

Not my point

My Grandmother held a
unwavering grudge against Rose
The Baby.
WHY? Aunt Rose had a baby
She led the “good life”

Did not work
Had kids
a house
and took care
of neither

Rose had asked
my Grandmother
to babysit
Rose wanted to go
to a party
The Baby was ill
Rose did not care

My grandmother took
the baby
…and he died
that night
in my grandmother’s arms

She NEVER EVER forgave Rose
and she made it clear
to me:

IF you ever have kids
In other words
Do not leave a sick child

I never did~
funny how somethings
never leave you

That story never left me

Only once did I leave
sick kids
and it was NOT
to have fun

I had to be with my Dad
My Mom was having Surgery

My kids were ill
I left them in
highly capable hands

Bit I shook all day

Who was I to go against
I worried all day
They were fine
I was a mess

My Grandmother
was a complex

I lived in her house
until she died

I never really figured
her out
No one did

…and so it goess

Family History~IV

My Grandmother was not
demonstrative- to put it nicely
She was downright cold
She did not take well to Motherhood;
and to make matters worse:
The child was female
A boy is of some matter
A female? Stupid
Of no value
She’s now stuck in NJ
with Joe
She hires
someone to clean
the house
and Joe’s cousin
comes to live
and raise Ester
because my grandmother
is back at work
before her breasts
dry up
Joe is now
“on the road”
selling my Grandmother’s
bridal gowns
Becky does not want Joe
She is in a loveless
marriage and She will
not let Joe touch her
Pregnancy must be averted
Joe must be kept
on the road
When he’s home
he wants his wife
to be…a wife
My Grandmother
wants to work
and go home
Joe wants to go and do
Becky wants to stay home
at night
It does not bother her
that the child calls
my live-in cousin “Ma-Ma”

Yet,in her own inept way
she thinks she is a good mother
She is home at night
while others are out
She does not go
to the moovies;
out to eat;
the opera, etc

My grandmother had been
abused as a child
She trusts no-one

The Business is doing well
It is Becky’s success
Joe now has a mistress:

Anna~a Jewish woman
I never found out
her story
(I would love to)
is Joe’s mistress
Becky hand picked her

I met her in the 60’s
She walked into
my Mom’s business
She is old
My Aunt makes her distain
visable to me

My Mom tries to calm my Aunt
but my Aunt just cannot face
the reality
that my Grandmother
had faults

I knew it as a kid
and I am now face to face
with “Pa-Pa” Joe’s other woman
I am a teenager
I am….
I am in AWE?

This woman is part
of my family
and soo it goes


It’s Friday- I am going to therapy-

It’s pouring out

I will go anyway

even though I hate the rain

Cold, windy, dreary

This dampness

is killing me

I try hard not to complain

The pain I can tolerate;

the discomfort is unnyeilding

The whole weekend ahead

is now almost done

He went to the market

last night

I was not suprised

It took him

practically no time

at all

The store;

generally crowded

was pretty empty

last night

Saturday night

is not a usual

market night

I did not mind

I needed things

I plan to cook

I’m tired

of living on

frozen meals

I really can cook

I’m bored to tears

I need to do things

I can do

to lighten the load

from him

When it comes

down to the

I will rise occasion

I can do more

than I usually do

I am capable

I know I can take care

of myself