How Little I Know

A month from today, we are going to South Africa to meet my daughter in law’s family, and to see a country where truth and reconciliation and forgiveness all became a part of the Constitution. My grandfather, Oscar Cohen went from Lithuania to Johannesburg with three of his brothers. And then they all came here. I never met my grandfather’s brothers, or any of their children. I don’t know what he did in South Africa, or what he thought either. Last night we had dinner with a cousin, a historian, who knows more than I do.

This Is What
I Know
said Allen.
We were sitting
in a Turkish restaurant.
Your grandfather’s father
was Mordecai Kirzner.
He was born
in Bupst. Three
sons maybe four.
They went to South Africa
first. Oscar
your grandfather
moved to Connecticut. You
know that already. Hymie
lived in Roanoke.
Ben was in Scottsville,
Virginia. That’s all
I know except this
said Allen their father
Mordecai saw Napoleon in 1812
when he passed through Bupst.
That’s all I know.

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.


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