My poem "Brick Row House, Crown Heights" was named a finalist for the 2017 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award! You can read the full poem below. A version of the poem will be included in my forthcoming book Every Glittering Chimera. Another poem from that collection, "Becoming," was just published along with two of my paintings in the Spring 2018 issue of Parentheses.
BRICK ROW HOUSE, CROWN HEIGHTS
Five chickens squawked in Grandmother’s
backyard, huddling in the corner,
fearful of her cleaver.
She squinted as my father and I ate,
made me finish every spoon of Kugel,
Children in Europe are starving.
Finish every yellow bit of runny egg—
Your eyes are bigger than your stomach,
You ask for too much.
I wanted my father
to stay, so I chewed slowly
knowing when I rose
from the cold metal chair it was time
for him to go.
in soothing sounds I didn’t understand.
Then she said in English,
Ostriches’ eyes are bigger than their brains.
Chicken's eyes are yellow
and they stare when they're afraid.
Like you, maideleh, she laughed.
Don’t cry shayne maidel,
No. We’ll have some candy,
a peppermint, all red and white
like the tablecloth.
I took it in my mouth, like a good girl,
sucked that sweet until its bright syrup flooded,
held it on my tongue long as I could.