Wrapping, Embracing

Every garment I inherited from you 
is something to wrap in
long black sweater
Loden suede jacket
raincoat with zip-in lining
and pack of Kleenex in the pocket
 
Best of all, Mom,
your fleecy jacket
warm enough for the commercial produce store
where a sign over the Farmers Market room
says “Welcome to Siberia”
 
The jacket is the same cobalt blue
as my tallit, a gift to myself
the first time I read Torah
my bat mitzvah at 49
 
It’s vast, this tallit
a sweep of blue, a desert sky
I unfurl it, recite the blessing, then wing
it back with a matador flourish
and bring my hands together
above my head
making a tent—
 
mishkan
dwelling-place for 
the sacred feminine 
I invite you to enter, Mom
you—Harriet
your mother, Dora
her mother, Zlata 
and all our mothers before whose names are lost 
 
Tenderly I wrap 
the tallit around our shoulders
 
Holding us all in its blue embrace 
I ascend and chant the holy tongue
you were denied, weaving 
your voices into mine

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