Mizmor L'David Anthology 

 


Poetica Magazine, Contemporary Jewish Writing


Lucille Iscaro is a poet and essayist who lives in White Plains, New York. Her selected poetry was inspired by her late parents. Their loving guidance shaped her, making their loss a different kind of painful inspiration.


Share Your Thoughts with Lucille

Thank you for taking the time to read, we appreciate your feedback! The Editors
Oops. An error occurred.
Click here to try again.

The Funeral Home
Lucille Iscaro

the funeral home
a prayer book and
a yard of cheesecloth
to cover the stone

I’d rather keep
the flimsy gauze
for chicken soup
I’d strain spent herbs
gray bits of bone
bleached out carrots
to leave a clear
golden broth

Dad would’ve like that
some chicken soup
like his grandmother made
fluffy matzoh balls
slurpy noodles
I’d set it before him
instead

today
I recall, remember
honor
I veil
that cold tablet
repository of grief
with this flimsy blanket

folded it could be a pillow
unfolded unfurled
it catches a breeze
and whispers like a prayer
as I place it
masking his name
sharply lacerated
freshly etched

we come together
hold one another
speak his name
smile, cry
tell stories
read psalms
the little ones
unsure are quiet

we leave as we came
walking slowly
past the dead
my mother
her parents
and theirs
turning the pages

of our granite family album
the youngest
gather pebbles along the way
for markers of memorial
l clutch the cloth
feeling hungry
for soup

Sympathy Tied in Bakery String 
Lucille Iscaro

the etiquette of death
brings visitors
carrying love
in bakery boxes

a mourners’ meal
set before me
heavy with hummus
bountiful bagels
lox and loss

sideboard studded
with offerings
lying on doilies
sweet mouthfuls
promising balm
in each bite

bereavement babka
studded with chocolate
dark as regret
finished with
a cinnamon hug

condolence cookies
buttery compassion
sprinkled with
sugary kindness

remembrance rugelach
flaky folds
of pastry prayer

I’m warmed by tea
laced with memories
flavored with
honeyed words