Source: Yitro

For my father

Early memory: in my crib,
gripping slats, pulling a wobbly self
to stand, hands locked

until despair
drops me to the mattress.
Calling out, howling, grasping

for language,
but what are words for?
Crying in the dark?

Now reading of Jethro (father-
in-law to Moses), who appears
in different places,

his figure, a shadow
variously named:
partner, friend, one to cherish

beyond what we know.
I recall the dark
glittered. And I calmed,

stopped weeping.
Then often at night, calling out
to the dark, the glitter,

sometimes rousing my young father,
burdened with studies,
who emerged

from the shadows,
lifted me into his arms
to croon and whisper stories.

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