February 15, 2015

On Approaching Seventy

Watching the hands of my son
kneading challah dough
on the maple cutting board
in my kitchen, a memory

rises of my mother
bending over our kitchen table
in Flatbush, pressing, stretching,
folding flour, water, eggs

into a living elastic.
Sometimes in my dreams, Mom
appears, whispers of her mother
in her kitchen in Zurawno

in the pre-dawn dark,
by the light of the kerosene
lamp, pulling and pushing
the yeasty challah dough

until my son covers it
with a clean white cloth
and leaves it in the warm
electric oven to rise.

by Joan Seliger Sidney

I even had a batch of bread—not challah though— rising when I saw this. From this morning's Writer's Almanac