A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

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Two Poems by Rebecca Faulkner

Kaddish on Jane Street

Papa tuck my blankets in tight                  move your chair toward the fire


                 show me how we mourn the dead                  in branches


of the old chestnut tree on Isestraße         I carved her initials in black bark


                 intoned their names         beneath the arch at Washington Square


cleansed by the freezing fountain                  I fold moth-eaten handkerchiefs


between pages of a prayer book                    while my tiny soldiers fly


model bombers                  through patchwork fields                  cover the mirrors


quiet fingers brush the spidery dark              on platforms         derelict train stations


faint aroma of nutmeg & tobacco                  my leather suitcase neatly packed


                 & from the scuttle hatch                 we spy informants


with January stares         reaching firmly for the banister                  inhale


her brown coat                 did buttons catch on barbed wire              the warden’s sneer


your tea gone cold Papa               as you pray            I clasp my hapless pilot in my fist


whisper               Mama is dead                  watch as we graveyard spiral


                 onto paving stones      thick with foreign snow

Still, life

Laying down her brush in extreme fatigue

she pays attention to her posture, an apple


core balanced atop a freshly scrubbed table.

To February’s strident chimneys, curling


their lip at the yellowing snow. From an upstairs

room her granddaughter laughs, an aria with sharp


edges. She listens to The Goldberg Variations

the fret, the hurry, the stir. Ignores the drawing


room’s silk cushions, bought on a whim that spring

in Toulouse. Teaspoons tremble on the sideboard


tarnished with their own importance. She admires

the wainscotting’s hairline cracks, a riot of bay leaves


consigned to forgotten suppers. Pays close attention

to the pitch of her easel, heel of her paint. Accepts


another attic-bound canvas, death’s ill-fitting slippers.

Celebrates the silence of a pinecone, the curve, the ridge,


the stir. Draws velvet drapes against the years & murmurs

It is done. It is finished. I have had my vision.

Rebecca Faulkner

Rebecca Faulkner is a London-born poet based in Brooklyn. The author of Permit Me to Write My Own Ending (Write Bloody Publishing, 2023), her work appears in New York Quarterly, The Maine Review, The Poetry Society of New York, CALYX Press, Berkeley Poetry Review and elsewhere. She is a 2023 poetry recipient of the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women, a finalist for the 2023 Desert Rat Poetry Prize, and the 2022 winner of Sand Hills Literary Magazine’s National Poetry Contest. Rebecca was a 2021 Poetry Fellow at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. She holds a BA in English Literature & Theatre Studies from the University of Leeds, an MA in Performance Studies from NYU, and a Ph.D. from the University of London. She is currently at work on her second collection of poetry, exploring female identity and artistic endeavor. She can be found at www.rebeccafaulknerpoet.com.



Rebecca Faulkner
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