ESTHER FRIEDMAN by Michelle Taransky

Esther Friedman

by Michelle Taransky

There is always someone
Whose job it should be
To advise you, even if you don’t want to know:

No girl dreams of being proposed to
With a ring from the Shoah

Look to your mother
She cares so much it hurts

If you don’t want to have to describe
To your lover how
You want to be loved

Read old letters grandma
Never sent from Germany
Because she couldn’t

Write—But somehow planned

To go to Hotel Shangri-La
Wearing a magen david, the family
Tallit and wrapping tefillin

Despite her gender

It is insane, not sweet
To recite “America” by Allen Ginsberg
Then. There the head cannot know

Where the protractor has disappeared
Please bring your oldest
Calculator to help me answer


Michelle-TaranskyMichelle Taransky teaches Critical and Creative writing at Penn where she was awarded the 2014-15 Beltran Family Teaching Award. Taransky is the author of the poetry collections Sorry Was in the Woods (Omnidawn 2013) and Barn Burned, Then (Omnidawn 2009), winner of the 2008 Omnidawn Poetry Prize selected by Marjorie Welish.




Image credit: Pixabay


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