Jul 10

Why is This Night Different?

because this evening I burnt the dates
charred like my grandmother’s heart

I attempt another batch
break open plump Medjools
pry open pips
boil until squashy
enough to squeeze
the living daylights out
into dark dripping syrup
meant for dipping
bitter herbs

my grandmother squeezed
regrets and rough journeys
through white muslin
clenched in olive oil fists
until the dates wrung dry
and honey spurted forth sweet

I clasp the same cloth
mine is stained with birth blood
what I mean is that I swaddled
my sons and made covenants
in four by four squares
to wrap their circumcisions
to hold and heal
all that needs holding

why do you work so hard
my cousin asks
to remember my grandmother
so my children remember me