They begin in sweetness and end in hunger
in the twilight between one year and another.
Our tradition always begins with the evening,
the seventh day, the expulsion from Eden.
May you be inscribed in the Book of Life,
for who knows what may come with the morning.
Perhaps it’s most fitting played by Du Pré, her force
like an electric light sparking out. She who too
would come to know lack of choice,
as I do, as I recall strings like knives
slicing lines on my fingertips, otherwise
blue-tinged and numb, stiff as I tried
to learn the guitar; I with my lingering tremor,
who once lacked strength to sit upright,
cradling a cello, to suspend a bow in the air;
I who still fail to fast lest my blood sugar fall,
lived in terror of plans and of promises, knowing all
vows may be broken when the body falls ill.
This piece is a part of the Berru Poetry Series, which supports Jewish poetry and poets on PB Daily. JBC also awards the Berru Poetry Award in memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash as a part of the National Jewish Book Awards. Click here to see the 2019 winner of the prize. If you’re interested in participating in the series, please check out the guidelines here.
Maia Evrona is a poet, prose writer and translator of Yiddish literature. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program and the National Endowment for the Arts.