National Poetry Month – erev Passover…

For those who celebrate Passover we offer today’s poem by Liz Eisen.

Her Blessing

written by Liz Eisen

Carefully her hands washed the china and set it on the table surrounding the brightly polished old brass candlesticks and the cut glass vase filled with flowers from her garden.

Gently her hands took out the Seder plate and placed the shank bone, bitter herbs, the egg, the charoset, karpas, and matzah upon it.

Meaningfully her hands created the meal: soup and gefilte fish, brisket and tsimmes, kugel, macaroons and baked apples.

Tenderly her hands cupped her grandson’s cheeks, held him warm in her grasp until he squirmed away.

Softly her hands struck the match, lit the candles and she waved them in front of her face one, two, three as she said the words of the prayer from her heart.

Respectfully her hands held the hagaddah and lifted the wine glass.

Joyfully her hands followed her voice as she sang each prayer and song.

Sorrowfully her hands broke the matzah and brought it to her mouth, reminding her bittersweetly of the past.

Lovingly her hands served the meal to her family; she passed each platter and smiled as they ate.

Purposefully her hands cleared the table.

Knowingly her hands washed the china, the pots and pans, the mugs and saucers.

Tenderly her hands waved goodbye and then she rested them against her chest, the house once again quiet.

Her hands were a blessing from God.

7 thoughts on “National Poetry Month – erev Passover…

  1. Liz:
    I read your exquisite poem here where I am making a retreat for the week leading up to Easter. I pictured a woman with your features with gray hair. I have to do a liturgical reading from Exodus about Moses leading the people out of Egypt. Didn’t even have time for their bread to rise. I’ll get some of
    the nuns (Sisters of Social Service) to read your poem as well. Your words honor the meaning for us with gentle, compassionate, affirming. Thanks Liz, it is already filed as a keeper in my seasonal prayers collection. MR

  2. The loving care of a grandmother, caring about family and religion, comes through so well in your poem, Liz. I can see those loving hands clearly, feel the tenderness, feel the grandson’s cheeks and his squirming, see the preparations, the meal, the cleanup, and then quiet remembrance. Very moving.
    Laura H

  3. Having just finished cooking and cleaning and polishing silver, sitting here waiting for the arrival of the first guests on this first night of Seder, your poem feels prophetic. It is so much work, why do we do it, kids home from school, husbands on the cell phone, matzo balls almost forgotten… and yet at the end of the night it all feels like such a blessing. To be able to do it with joy! Your poem answers those doubts and questions. What a wonderful poem, you caught the movement of the day so wistfully. And that quiet moment at the end. Her hands a blessing…every mother should feel that!

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