Miriam caught me sneaking a thin slab of dark chocolate last night.
“Mom, why are you having caffeine now? . . . I want some!”
“Miriam you can’t have any because it’s too late and you won’t be able to sleep”
“Why do you get to?”
“Well, because I am old”
“You’re not old!”
This was welcome confusion on the part of my just turned three year old.
“Well then what am I?”
Halleluiah for the eyes of my child who is learning the English language, but not so well that she yet understands that
houses and and purses and macbooks and jean jackets and cars can be new
we can only be young or old . . .
as with Jerusalem,
whose crumbling artifacts dissapear into the rubble of war and time
old skin, shall never be younger
never stretch plump round warm infant thighs again.
I shall never lose the mark over my right brow where I scratched at my
or the scar on my hip where I spilled from my bike on the red gravel road
too far from my home for anyone to hear me cry
my skin will never, unless i pay for it, move taught over my abdomen
as if i myself had not born new life inside
I am not constantinople
or brussels or rio
or new york
I will not be old and gone forever
i am more like zion
and so i do not care
if the earth is young or old
and i’m glad to wear the signs of
the familiar furrows made permanent
as i think towards hope
and grow weary,
Because Miriam is right.
Jerusalem and I
and the earth
with all her secrets