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Also in this issue, poems by:

Kathryn Hellerstein

Celia Dropkin

Hadassah Rubin

Kadya Molodowsky

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Contributor Notes

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© Copyright to Kathryn Hellerstein, 2003, all rights reserved.

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The photo of Miriam Ulinover is from publisher, Mosad Harav Kook.



Miriam Ulinover
Miriam Ulinover

Warsaw, 1922


Kathryn HellersteinTranslated by Kathryn Hellerstein


Havdolah Wine


Everyone drinks from the Havdolah cup,
So I sip a drop of wine, too.
Fondly, earnestly, Grandmother says:
“Dear child, I'm warning you

That drinking from the Havdolah cup
Will give a girl a beard—
That's what is written down
In the shelf of Holy Books there.”

I collapse in terror,
I touch the tip of my chin:
Thank God!... Still soft and girlish...
But sharp, pointed in fear.


A Remedy

Sometimes, when an infection
Appears on a girl's eye,
My grandmother picks from her Makhzor
A wondrous stalk of remedy:

“When hunger staggers the city,
Dear child, protect your eyes
By feeding barley to a doe
To keep you safe from sties.”

Grandmother, do you maybe have
More remedies in your book of prayers?
Perhaps you can protect my eyes
From big, hot tears?


The Hallahs

“ver es foylt zikh flekhten khales,
flekhten vet a groyen tsop”--
yogt di bobe mikh tsum multer,
khap ikh shtil zikh farn kop:

un dos gele beker-meydel?
khales yede vokh -- a boyd --
ongeflokhten oysgetokte,
un gebliben alte moyd!


***

“Whoever is lazy twisting hallahs,
Will twist a gray braid”—
My grandmother chases me to the trough,
I silently grab for my head:

And the gold-haired baker-girl?
Each week—a wagonload
Of loaves she's braided perfectly—
She's still an old maid!