Not Sitting Shiva A Poem by Joan Pond


NOT SITTING SHIVA

AJ was whiter than I remembered, and his lips were taut.
I reached over to fix a lock of his hair,
then stopped.
Egad! I’d almost touched a corpse.
I sat beside him, smelling Bubby’s brisket and potato kugel,
thinking of her applesauce and lemon cake.
Then, suddenly,
I started to shake inside.
I should be ashamed,
only thinking of myself.
But AJ always liked food, the gathering of family, and close friends.
This was a time to make amends,
to bury the hatchet, along with the dead.
And as Bubby came from the kitchen with a platter of chicken liver and bow ties,
I swear
I thought I saw AJ smile.


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