FOR MY MOTHER, FIVE YEARS AFTER
MY FATHER’S DEATH
The bed’s empty half tended each night:
a second pillow neatly paired beside her own,
the lamp upon his stand still lit
for him to step from his hot bath.
How long he’ll be—she can’t imagine.
The night is pacing to the brink
of blame and back. She finds
an unobstructed view from which to wave.
Great wingless birds
migrate from dreams,
alight to feed
on stone and steel.
Steven Sher is a native of New York who lived in the Pacific Northwest for 20 years and has lived in Jerusalem since 2012, He is the author of 14 books including, most recently, The House of Washing Hands (Pecan Grove Press, 2014) and Grazing on Stars: Selected Poems (Presa Press, 2012). He has taught (universities, workshops) and his work has appeared widely since the 1970s. He continues to lead workshops and lecture in the U.S. and Israel, and currently co-edits an Israeli literary journal (arc). More can be found at stevensher.net.