Older (My father)

Another series I’ve done parts of for years:  I’m Getting Older.  Here’s another older body part.


My hands are different hands.

They’re my father’s hands now.

We were not very much a like.  He

was Talmudic, reasoned, cautious

and careful.  He should have been

a rabbi someone who learned

he knew how to ballroom dance

could play piano and classical violin

he did not go for walks did not go

outside unless he had a good reason

work being a good reason he did not

fix anything ever or cook except for eggs

did not ever call anyone just to chat he did not

chat though he did discuss he’d often dance

with my mother on the red linoleum floor

in our peculiar kitchen, a kitchen that had avocado pits

sprouting on the indoor window sill, always

they were my mother’s he had a cautious body too

hesitant, dressed in black all his shirts were white

except for one light yellow that my mother chose

and he wore once I remember his hands they were

white and looked as though they’d held many pencils

and many pens and all of a sudden I have those hands now.


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. I love this. You give me insight into why Harriet Beecher Stowe called her husband the rabbi even though they were not Jewish. Calvin was indeed someone who learned.

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