by Richard Widerkehr
Saying Evening Prayers at Our Zoom Services
A big-leaf maple glows in the sun
by the goat shed, as if its DNA knew the code
to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.
In her hospital bed, our mother saw a world
made of red-black letters. So beautiful,
she said. Haven’t certain Jews believed
the world was created from Hebrew
letters? This spider web on the lawn—
at online services, we say, Adonai,
You bring down the eyelids of evening.
Maybe, a certain white-crowned sparrow
carries our mother’s name into the dark,
a missing alphabet, her sabbath of rest.
The mountains haven’t been leveled.
The street is still a street. I pick up your suitcases,
walk with you, no yellow half-moon
low in the sky.
The last brick house
with the oak door, black elm trees…
Father, you wear your jacket of stars.
Mother, you sing an old song.
RICHARD WIDERKEHR’S latest book is At The Grace Cafe (Main Street Rag). His work has appeared in Crab Creek Review, Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, Bellingham Review, Atlanta Review, and many others. He won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan. He has poems in Take A Stand: Art Against Hate (Raven Chronicles Press), which won a Washington State Book Award for 2021. His three books of poems include In The Presence of Absence (MoonPath Press). He has three chapbooks and one novel Sedimental Journey (Tarragon Books). He reads submissions for Shark Reef Review.
Photo: “Stars” by x1klima