Tag Archives: Gifts



On the first anniversary of my mother’s death
I find myself in the middle of New Mexico
the day late, and a prayer short

I stop my Catholic nun friend, now
married and converted Jewish
and tell her of my plight

Also the hope that she
or her husband might have
some words to fit the occasion

The answer is yes, the word is Kaddish
and they are meeting with the Rabbi
to arrange the Friday Shabat supper

Myself, Dorsey, Paul, Maryrita and Dan
now five, the number of her children
sit in circle in the hotel lobby

Paul is a new Rabbi and a very sweet man
he forgets some of the words, Dan helps
I say “her Hebrew isn’t that good,
I don’t think she’ll mind”

I am touched that the prayer is of praise
and not of mourning, and the idea
that whatever good I might do,
my brothers and sisters too,
are her gifts to the world

This may be a poem about salt
there is something about salt
and her gift from our eyes
as we share


(for Meri Walker)

You make it using
materials from all your old garments

Clothes that you have worn
for weddings, vacations, births and deaths
all the best days of your life and all the worst

When you give the gift, your friend says
“Thank you, this is perfect
it is sometimes very cold
where I am living at present
and this will get me through the winter”