My parents planned me like an occasion,
and like an occasion
I can be both joyous and sad.
After my birth,
my parents celebrated me like an ancient ritual
and like a ritual
I am both holy and secretive.
Once the occasions lost their meaning,
and the rituals were forgotten
I was left to clean up;
acquiring a memory here,
a love dropped there,
tears left in a glass,
sackcloth on a chair,
and ashes on the carpet.
If my parents had planned me like a performance
I would have been like a theatre afterwards,
in which the play would no longer have a main character
nor words which he could speak.
(c)2012 Jayseth Guberman
a version of this piece was published in The Jewish Spectator in 1983.