Ahava Has a Friend (COVID)

We are different from one another in the country.

Family in a trailer down the road

mother in her twenties three children

nine year old girl plays with Ahava here just a child

says what she hears  knows what a child knows

We all want Ahava to play

with everyone no matter who

their mother is no matter what

they know.   When Noah was a stand up

comic he had a friend named Monroe

grew up in the projects came for his

first Hanukah. We gave him  latkes.

I’m never eating one of these again, he said.





Heavy Rain and Today COVID

Still on the porch. Ahava has a babysitter

named Blake who goes to a local

high school.  She wants to be a doctor

one day because everyone in her family

is a nurse.  And then there’s Chapter Seven

of my interminable book.  Today is a day

for banana bread or sour cream loaf for lentil soup

a long Italian movie today is a day to finish the Lily King

novel and be grateful again and again for this porch

this rain this day.


Covid or Not, I Can Never Find My Phone

Wish I could blame every single thing

on This President or This Pandemic

but even before This President, This Pandemic,

even before I became an official Old Jew

even before there was a Good Reason

for this to happen, most days I put my phone down

somewhere let’s say The Kitchen Table and I spend

a while trying to remember where it is and then

I use the Find My Phone device, annoyed that once again

for no good reason I can’t find my phone until

I actually do and there it is where I left it

let’s say on the Kitchen Table and for a while everything

is more or less OK.

Last Night We Went To Dinner (conversations now) (COVID)

We went to dinner

with the kids  Nunzio’s Pizza

at Chalet Fondue in Windham New York.

Base of a mountain. Picnic tables facing sky.

Waiting to order pizza from Nunzio himself

Sicilian man you could tell he loved his pizza

I was wearing an African dress Chesray made

a woman waiting for pizza

asked about the dress she does

costumes for TV  she said her mother

died of covid a few weeks ago  memorial

last night serving Nunzio’s pizza.

Her mother liked pizza.  We exchanged

numbers with her and talked about

Distance Visiting and we ate far away

from other people all eating pizza

trying not to think pandemic pandemic pandemic

even enjoying our pizza, and the large sky,

and the new woman who might come to visit.

My Father’s Birthday (COVID)

Longtime gone my father mysterious man

my father wrote a letter

to The Evening Sentinel titled

How to Have a Good Life

Marry, he said, have two children and find a way

to earn a living

my father who sent me postcards

every week when I was in college every week when I

went to the Israeli Peace Corps my father  had

a beautiful handwriting  never revealed much

he had a difficult mother  my father who liked puns

liked comedians liked Jack Paar

played violin and piano and said:

Think the Rain Will Harm the Rhubarb?

Not if it’s in cans.



What Happens Next (Who Knows) COVID

Yesterday a reader named Jill wrote and asked

me to explain My Process.  I don’t have One.  Dear Reader

I Confess I don’t know what I’m going to say before I say it.

I do not have a Poetry Plan or a Fiction Plan either.  Some people

know in advance where their characters will go and what will

happen when they get there.  My characters wander.

They are CPAs and grocery clerks and mothers and they

are often funny and unpredictable.  I don’t

know what they’ll say in advance, although I try to avoid

Many Phrases such as Lessons Learned.  In my poems

and in the stories too, they are free to say things like

Stressed is Desserts backwards and God Knows What

Will Happen Next.  They visit me while I am here.

Writing poems.

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