Piling on my parents’ bed in the dark.
It was in the evening that Yom Kippur
in October—no TV, not a spark
of electricity to make us secure.
It was in the evening that Yom Kippur.
Only candles were permitted us.
Without electricity to feel secure,
we talked of things, funny and serious.
When only candles are permitted us,
the rest, like useless skin, is stripped away.
How we talked and laughed . . . and were serious!
Maybe we had little; we were rich that day.
The rest, like useless skin, is stripped away.
Now I can see what’s not anymore.
Though we had little, we were rich that day.
Only this memory, flaring for sure!
Oh, I know what is not anymore—
lost with that evening, not left a spark . . .
But in the pull of memory for sure,
we’re piling on my parents’ bed in the dark.
Mel Belin, author of Flesh that was Chrysalis (Word Works 1999), has been a featured reader at the Writer’s Center, the Library of Congress Poetry at Noon Series, Joaquin Miller’s Cabin, the Martin Luther King Library, and on National Public Radio. Belin was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, graduated from Dartmouth College, and George Washington University Law School. He practiced law at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and has since retired. His website: www.melbelin.com/ To read more by this author: "At the Exhibit," The Museum Issue, Vol. 10:1, Winter 2009.