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

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