Jerusalem’s Gay Pride and Tolerance March, at a Distance
What words are there for this,
the mute persistence of snow
as it settles over the city,
falling now on a road outside my window,
a spider’s trace from the beauteous
Acre coast, to a house of state
in Nazareth, even to glisten upon
gray heads in the Bell Garden.
I pour tea into a china cup
and watch the last few cars head home,
their deep-throated complaints
as they race at the gradient.
There was of course Great-aunt Hattie,
her Commie friends. The tiny apartment
overlooking the Statue of Liberty
of a Saturday, after my mother’s
matchy set of siblings, that raucous tribe
a kind of aeonic music.
Shelves of Agatha Christie,
doll’s mayonnaise jar.
The neighbor’s white Skoda, or perhaps
the son not seen
these months, makes it half-way
before gravity kicks in, and he slides back
to where he started from.
Once, on the evening news, shanties
were burning in Nyanga and Gugulethu.
Many are dying in the last throes
of a barbarous State, but here,
snow falls like apple blossom
in the glare of a single street-light.
What words are there for this.
— after James Caruth ( Derek Mahon)
“Snowfall, 1986,” featured in Issue 59 of TIH
Jerusalem, 20th of Av, 5778
2 August, 2018