A brief memoir of a time with my grandmother brings to mind reflections upon our ancestral legacy and our personal evolution:
Sifting through the costumes of her life
me, compelled by the beauty of the jewels, shiny,
sparkly, round smooth surfaces, metallic clasps
Grandma Fanny and I sit on the bed, light streaming
through the West End window.
My fantasies of the jewels unfold
my fantasies of the future unfurl.
The atmosphere permeated by her memories,
feelings. warmth and withholding,
sadness and loss, freshness and decay,
innocent play, timid fear.
Don’t go there, don’t get
swallowed by the pain.
Such a big task for such a little girl-
to buoy the sinking ship of the
My innocence a shield
against the drowning despair.
And here the pearls
shiny, creamy, glossy
new, buoyant, transcendent,
The pearls guiding my path
these many years later.
I marry a Pearl,
become a Pearl,
and my life changes.
No longer sucked down by Fanny’s morose memories
the heavy legacies of Polish pogroms and lost loved ones.
Now, I find the luminous present,
round moments strung together
as my husband cultivates his oysters-
A return to source.