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When Passover Ends

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When Passover Endss featured
Passover ended last night
but this morning there's still
a lump of matzah in my stomach
and the taste of dry matzah crumbs
on my lips
 
It's like when I leave the beach and
come home to find grains of sand
stuck between my toes and dried salt
from the sea on my legs
 
You know what's funny? Not funny
ha-ha but funny strange? I can still
see my ancestors marching in the
desert toward freedom even though
I've returned to the world I left behind
for eight days. They're part of a long line 
of people walking through history even 
after the holiday ends, 
 
And in the line I can see walking all 
the people who I love— Mom and Dad
and Grandpa Harry and Grandma Gussie 
and Grandpa Israel, Uncle Nate and 
Aunt Alberta, Aunt Sylvia, Aunt Judy, 
and all the rest of my family who have 
gone to their eternal rest.
 
The wind covers their footprints in the sand
so I can't follow them, can only watch as they
disappear for another year, and I watch them 
go, one by one, Mom's face turning toward me 
as she passes like the face of the moon
 
I can't tell if she's smiling or sad, and then,
like the moon at dawn, her face fades from 
view and she's gone, along with all the others, 
leaving only the memory of the sea and the taste 
of matzoh until next year when they'll come back 
walking out of the desert to join us again.
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Bruce Black is the author of Writing Yoga (Rodmell Press/Shambhala) and editorial director of The Jewish Writing Project. He received his BA from Columbia University and his MFA from Vermont College. His work has appeared in Elephant Journal, Blue Lyra Review, Tiferet Journal, Hevria, Poetica, Reform Judaism, The Jewish Literary Journal, Mindbodygreen, Yogi Times, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and elsewhere. He lives in Sarasota, FL.
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