Poetry for May days
Such true words. Enjoy this month’s poetry from our Tomato poets.
To Do Or Not To
Everything gets divided
into neat columns of pros and cons.
From how much sweet cereal to pour
to top my grain-filled breakfast bowl
like an ice cream sundae,
to whether or not to go to Israel
with my daughter
whose body has processed
the Omicron variant
giving her more freedom
to move about
than lucky me
who has avoided all strains so far.
Valerie asked me to go with her
to visit her friend.
If I go, every word exchanged and heard,
every Hebrew sign,
and every olive,
will be a memory I would have forever.
I would reunite with my long lost second cousin Karen
who found me on Facebook.
I see so much family resemblance
in the posts of her children and grandchildren.
I want to see the flesh of my flesh
face to face.
I have no other old blood of mine.
I want to have shabbat at her table, badly.
I want to be that person
who chooses to go
despite the towering upright column of cons
on the right side of the yellow legal pad page.
I want to set that example
for my daughters and myself.
But there are 10 times the reasons listed,
and a barrel of logistics
not to go.
Sometimes I obsess
about the weight of a decision
like an anorexic
over another frozen grape,
and other times I just do.
When I used to ski,
I dangled my heavy boots from the chair lift
and mapped out my route down
from the step stool to the heavens
with the easiest routes.
But once I was on the run
I always chose to challenge myself
One’s comfort zone
is quite elastic
and how far to stretch it
is the difference between
the pros and cons of
being and living,
~ Nicole Freezer Rubens, author of The Long Pause and the Short Breath…Poems & Photos & Reflections on New York City’s Pandemic
Rainy Days and Mondays no longer get me down
Sorry Richard and the late Karen Carpenter
Snow and ice get me down
They are pretty but get in the way and are hazardous
Sorry skiers and skaters
Naysayers may not apply or get in the way of what matters
What matters is doing the very best possible
Doing the right thing when the wrong thing is easier but a taste
that completely disagrees with me
My heart is on a page and one that I author
Never open it
Too much has happened
Too many last said goodbyes
Rainy days and Mondays no longer get me down
~Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, author of Put Your Boots on and Dance in the Rain
Laughter is Good
Laughter is so good for the proverbial soul,
Especially when life feels out of control,
Taking events much too seriously,
I did not close a deal and had an extra fee,
Tacked onto a bill most unexpectedly,
I felt all my life’s vulnerability,
Flashing before my very eyes,
In a steady bombardment that surely defies,
Twenty good years of psychotherapy,
And felt deep pain in my lower extremity,
Where is that, you may ask?
Well, I’m trying to get some levity,
Into a painful situation, taking to task,
That a good joke is in order,
Touching on the border, perhaps
Of bad taste,
I think everyone needs a good belly laugh,
As I’m speaking on everyone elses behalf.
Laughing at myself, of course, is freeing,
After all, I’m simply a frail human being,
Just like you!
~Carol Ostrow, author of Poems from My Pandemic Pen