The last few years  I’ve thought more about family

what family means written some poems about

where family is finding family why some people Edna

my cousin’s wife’s cousin is Edna family stayed with us last

week  kibbutznik in Cooperstown Edna told many good

family stories her father had a married mistress familiar yet

Edna’s version mesmerizing my father did not have a mistress

my family that is those people I talk to people I love they are my friends

who are my family we know one another not in the way of history

my history is vague  what I remember is tinged with what I don’t

know family and friends became one picture so many years ago

memory and what matters

my grandmother’s beautiful nose Rumanian her voice saying the word

ungapatchkid  a child I imagined Yiddish meanings

my old friend Bruce’s college Thunderbird white with red leather seats

when I think about what happened before people

who are family  what that means and how family

can be anywhere we aren’t locked in the way we once were

families  are not all people who look the same  we can if we choose

be one another’s families just like that.



Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Lovely again….the Yiddish phrase MCKENGIHAGGETVERN lives on for me. ONE CAN DIE FROM IT…. Last week a Punjabi teenager told that her acculturated little sister spoke Punjabi only when she got very angry. Like my mom did seventy years ago…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: