My Mother by Leonard George Wolf

My Mother used to say:
Laughter and light—
That’s all it takes to deal with life.

And, with that,
She became urgently busy,
Worked like a horse,
Cooking, washing,
Bedroom to cellar,
Cupboard to attic,
Windows and walls,

Until her hands were like the hands
Of a day laborer:

Out of the water
Into the dough,
Out of the dough,
Into the water.

And running, running
Running like a heavy bird
Newly created and already sick
That hardly knows what food
It ought to eat

Well . . .

When she came to die
It’s true that she had, indeed,
A golden candelabrum for
Her Chanukahs,
But, as for laughter . . .

Hush—

An ugly story.

From: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/leonard-wolf/a-group-of-poems/

Date: 1959 (original in Yiddish); 1959 (translation in English)

By: Leonard George Wolf (1923-2019)

Translated by: Leonard George Wolf (1923-2019)

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