Tradition

Now that Pesach is nearly behind us (one more two-day chag ahead…), here’s a poem about getting ready. It’s been that kind of holiday.

Tradition

The repairman has been here
before. This is not the first time
I self-cleaned the oven
into oblivion. And despite how deeply
I’ve polished a single silver tray,
crumbs still lurk
beneath the fridge, between cushions,
in the depths of my purse. Some years
I clean for Pesach with abandon
but this time I am worn down
by funerals, music lessons, the dog
vomiting on the dining room rug.
We’re T minus 3 hours pre-seder, and the repair guy
has replaced the oven fuse; the table is set
with my mother’s wedding flatware, one
grandmother’s gold-rimmed
china, jewel-tone plastic water cups,
a tablecloth covered in seven years of scribbles. I
am remarkably calm, stunned into stillness,
waiting for guests to arrive.

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