Beth SKMorris is the author of three poetry books: IN FLORIDA (2010), NOWHERE TO BE FOUND (2014) and the newly-released IN THE AFTERMATH-9/11 THROUGH A VOLUNTEER'S EYES in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this September and based on her five-month volunteer experience at the WTC Ground Zero Relief Project, Spring Street Warehouse that supplied the first responders and recovery crews at Ground Zero. Beth's poems have appeared in Artemis, Broadkill Review, Crosswinds, High Shelf, Pank, Passager, Poetica and Songs of Eretz among others. She is a member of Poets House and the Hudson Valley Writers Center in New York and the Academy of American Poets.
Joseph Kaplan (n՜ee Bromberg)
Grandpa carried his samovar
into the dining room, set it
on a stand in front of his chair
at the head of the table.
Born in Kishinev, Bessarabia
Name changed to avoid
Conscription in the Czarist army
a heavy, silver urn. two feet high,
engraved with vines and flowers;
a pattern common in Bessarabia.
Important Menshevik revolutionary!
No coffee or tea in the cylinder,
Exiled to Siberia
Sent 2,000 miles on horseback
Released in 1905 Amnesty
no bowl or cup under the spigot to catch
the flow of boiling water. A simple plate,
two thin slices of lemon in the center.
I sat in silence watching him.
Came to Chicago in 1907
To meet my mother
I was born in a tenement
Over Comiskey Park
Just before he released the valve,
he placed a lump of sugar in the middle
of his tongue and lifted the saucer
of seething nectar to his mouth.
*My father’s notebook entries in italics