Inheritance

August 25, 2017

       “But what else

can a mother give her daughter but such

beautiful rifts in time?”

    - Eavan Boland, “The Pomegranate”

 

It was years ago that she clung to a blonde boy

in a Nachlaot slum,

since she ate sunflower seeds

and forgot to notice the bitter taste.

He would strum Bob Dylan on a ukelele, and she didn't

think twice about stretching out

over the sheets

and offering herself as an afternoon sacrifice

about to go up in smoke.

 

I went to Jerusalem, like her,  

running toward a different unhappiness.  

I have kept a man,

not her rotation of phone numbers,

or neighborhoods as the years passed.

And though I would never want to jump

and break, as she did, like a tree cracking in two,

I know a twig inside me

has already snapped.

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