Wednesday 5 November 2014

2 Poems by Gershon Ben-Avraham

The Obituary

Last night I took the short way home,
Walking the path that cuts across
The corner of your father’s field.

At a spot you may remember,
Where for many years the leafy boughs
Of an old elm tree crossed the path, I paused.

A “Lover’s Bower” we called it.
Now nothing of the tree remains,
Save its massive trunk.

From the earth rose scents of summer afternoons,
Of days filled with memories of you - the two of us,
Sitting here in the shade of the tree, covered with its lace of light,
Sitting here in the shade of the tree, talking - laughing - dreaming.

It was here, over fifty years ago, that we stopped,
Coming home late from the party of a friend.
Slowing my pace, I took your hand, and
Turning my face to yours confessed my love.

Looking down, you turned away.
I understood.

This morning I learned of your death.
I read of it in a paper, casually pushed across the table by a friend.
He asked if I knew you.
A little, I replied. A little.

I read of your life, your family, your loves.
I did not find my name in the list of your survivors.
Indeed, it should not be.

I died before you.

A half century ago, I buried my heart,
Beside an elm along the path that cuts across
The corner of your father’s field.

By the Window

By the window I see you. Standing.
Etched in sunlight by the autumn afternoon.
Your shadow reaches across the room,
Touching me, joining the two of us.

We are ignorant of time as the slowly setting sun moves,
Erasing the image it had cast, and in our now unlit room,
Night covers us with its own dark, seamless, shadow.

We sleep as one, soul-by-soul,
Sharing, unknown to us, visions,
Mysterious images, in a common dream.

Rain, falling lightly against our bedroom window,
Wakens me. Sensing your form beside me,
I hold out my hand gently, and find you,
Aware of me, though still in sleep.


Gershon Ben-Avraham lives with his wife Beth, various children, and their collie Kulfi [Hindi for 'ice cream'] in Merion Station, Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in Apollos' Lyre, Bolts of Silk, Bird’s Eye reView, Numinous: Spiritual Poetry, Poetica Magazine, and Both Sides Now.

1 comment:

  1. Your words flow like a beautiful melody,
    gently and surprisingly touching and awakening
    long forgotten feelings.and thoughts.