What is happiness?
It’s sitting in the comfy chair in the reading nook, next to you while you work away at your desk. It’s our pup laying behind your chair, chewing his favorite toy, completely at peace. It’s our baby girl, purring away sitting on the ottoman next to my feet.
Happiness isn’t money or the nicest things the world has to offer.
Happiness is your kind and loving heart, loving me forevermore.
Being a Southern woman, making food is a part of your soul. It’s in our blood, it’s part of our spirit. It’s just what we do – we cook when we’re happy, when we’re expecting guests, when we’re down, or during a pandemic.
She slinks through the apartment
like a predator
a mouse-killer on the prowl
a scowl on her feline face
little Olivia, our baby girl
she’s a cute kitty, but
she’s also a cold-blooded killer.
Note: This poem is about our cat, Olivia. She’s the cutest little kitty, and also an excellent mouser!
I knew nothing of Shabbat before you
or the prayers we say on Friday nights
as we break off pieces of challah + let the candle
burn all night by the window –
I’m happy you’ve taught me, it’s brought me
a new ritual in this life, the life we share together.
(Photo source: shutterstock.com)
We’ve been together for two years
and it keeps getting better –
I know you well, but will I ever know you completely?
Your essence, sense of self, the core of you
that’s hidden and accessible only to you and God
but as the days go by, more is revealed
and it keeps getting better.
The wild gardens in our neighborhood grow onto sidewalks
weeds choke out flowers in front of beautiful homes
near the synagogue we wish to visit whenever
this virus stuff is over –
wild gardens, with daisies and wildflowers
that remind me of your wild spirit + ceaseless bravery.
(Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash)
I was eager to see Tennessee –
cigarettes were cheap, people moved slow +
we devoured fried chicken for breakfast –
never ventured into the country, stayed close
to anonymous highways + strip malls
that strip America of originality.
(Photo by Jeff Nissen on Unsplash)
This looks like an awfully nice backdrop for a wedding, right? Well, that’s exactly what it was in October 2019 when Rachel’s brother got married. I got to hang with Rachel’s family during that trip to Tennessee.
Here we are, nearly four months into the pandemic. The whole thing has been a very strange experience, for all us. It’s been a shared experience across the planet, though some countries have managed it better than others. I’m learning that the ability to adapt is so important.
For Rachel Forth
The summer days are long and there’s still light outside
when we roll the dough and dance in the kitchen while
making stromboli – you lead the way, but teach me too –
you make it like it’s second-nature to you, a true cook,
and I’m your student – all I can make is scrambled eggs.