Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Image borrowed from Yahoo


Men of substance,
who'd made money
from hardware stores
or in the Garment District,
or as doctors or lawyers
in our neighborhood of escapees
from Hitler's death works:

men who were listened to,
their wisdom nodded at
during breaks from shul
on the High Holy Days
or at Chanukah feasts
or Passover seders.

Substantial, also a hearty meal
in America the Bountiful,
America the Delicious:
gefilte fish for the adults,
for us silky chopped liver;
then matzo ball soup
oozing with fat noodles;
chicken or flanken swimming
in broths of vegetables and potatoes.

Dessert: for our parents,
honey cake, sponge cake;
for us, huge black-and-white cookies,
cakey, soft, nibbling-sweet.

Last, a bowl of cut-up fruit
was set out, while we children
waddled escape, before men
of substance, important men,
substantial men began
to talk and talk and talk.

Robert Cooperman

Posted over on the Writer's Almanac
"Substantial" by Robert Cooperman, from My Shtetl.

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