[Home] [Bookstore] [Gallery: Art / Photos] [Guests:Poets/Artists] [Workshops] [News & Events] [Contact]

[Home]

Products
Bookstore
Art Gallery
Photo Gallery

Poetry & Humor
Poetry
Featured Poem
Essays
Humor

Guests
Poets
Visual Artists

News
Releases
Archives

Workshops
Poetry Workshops

Links
Writing Links


Contact
Email & Address Info
Bio and photo

Tigerbone Wine

IDA Mothers say "I love you" with food,
grandmothers too. The door to Ida's
apartment was old, polished wood
with a mezzuza she kissed
with her fingers going out, going in.
When we knocked, she always opened
with "I was 'vaiting and 'vaiting!"
Ida fed us: home-made gefilte fish
we ate with care, her mincer was old
and left bones to snag an unwary throat,
chicken soup laced with fat and matza
balls hard as cannon shots. Boiled beef
followed with chicken from the soup,
noodle kugel and stewed pruned.
Hot tea in porcelain cups sweetened
with strawberry jam, Russian-style,
sent us groaning from the kitchen table
to collapse catatonic on her sofa.
Sometimes, she let me help wash the dishes.

During commercials on the tube, she'd offer
more food. "Joey, want an apple?"
"Hilly, a banana?"
"No, thanks, Grandma," we'd say, again
and again. Till one night, my husband
cried, "Alright Grandma, I'll take an apple."

Surprised, Ida said, "Vait a minute,
I gotta see if I have an apple."
We laughed so hard, the neighbor
thumped on the wall.

Ida died sixteen years ago, yet each time
I smell boiled cabbage, I am back
in her Irvington apartment house, knowing
behind the dark wood door, she is 'vaiting
with a plenitude of food.


-- Hilary Tham (from TIGERBONE WINE)