The baby’s 97 now. Ruthie lives in Delaware. Last one alive.
We see her once a year or so. She
was the student child. Even went to graduate school
in the forties when women didn’t study so much
she studied and studied, married a man who studied too.
He had the good job taught in college became a Dean.
Their three children are cousins I see
on family occasions once a while. Yesterday I went to the bus station for
her grandson and his girlfriend, strong Israelis
here for three days. They have lists. Not much like me.
Families once had small definitions.
Blood a central factor: blood that was the same.
Ruthie’s grandson and his girlfriend staying in the guest room
are family of course, but so were a college friend’s daughter Emma
and her boyfriend, here last weekend. Emma came to
our apartment when she was a baby when they brought her home from India.
Our family is small and big and we all have blood though
it’s not blood that connects us, it’s a path, a big big path winding
around us all where we are, where we go.