Life, the rabbi said, is the shadow
of a bird in flight. The bird flies away,
the bird is gone, the shadow is gone.
Mother, wings spread, you wait,
the greeting grown stale upon your lips.
Death does not oblige.
There’s nothing left of me, you wail,
it’s all gone, I’m nothing.
No, I say, surprising both of us,
it’s all here, in me.
At once your whole life’s energy
informs my blood, that woman bond.
How much I bear of you who bore me,
standing in the shadow of your flight,
imprinted with your bright trajectory.