Half Moon Bay, California

Around Half Moon Bay, I thought the funer­al was sup­posed to be silent,

but in the cypress trees, small spar­rows chirped above the grave. 

Back at the house, we left emp­ty glass­es on a dark table

scarred from years of drinks. 

And the news report­ed some­thing irrelevant: 

Some­where in Europe, all the boats crashed on a local dock. 

Around Half Moon Bay, a moth­er washed her child’s weak­ened body,

sick with bro­ken and war­ring cells. 

Back at the house, my am’mah read a for­tune in my cof­fee grounds.

This isn’t a good cup, she said. Maybe next time. 

And the news report­ed some­thing relevant: 

Elie Wiesel died, at a hun­dred-twen­ty years old. 

Around Half Moon Bay, a palm-read­er read my palm 

and told me the pres­i­dent would be reelected. 

Back at the house, oranges sat in a bowl in the liv­ing room, 

since my father said the fridge killed their sweetness. 

And the news report­ed some­thing strange: 

The mes­si­ah had come, but had only res­ur­rect­ed the Yid­dish language.

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 2021 win­ner of the prize. If you’re inter­est­ed in par­tic­i­pat­ing in the series, please check out the guide­lines here.

Maia Zelkha is a poet based in Jerusalem. She is pas­sion­ate about his­to­ry, lan­guage, and lit­er­a­ture, as well as the spir­i­tu­al and sur­re­al. Some of her pub­li­ca­tions include Fur­row Mag­a­zine, Ghost City Press, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­ni­a’s Match­box Mag­a­zine, The Man­darin Mag­a­zine, and Blind Cor­ner Lit­er­ary Mag­a­zine. She can be con­tact­ed at mdzelkha@​gmail.​com