“First Love” by Sarah Traister Moskovitz

Sarah Traister Moskovitz


My mother went into labor
in Yiddish
in Yiddish her prayers
in Yiddish her screams
From her mouth and breast
Yiddish flowed deep into me
I was bathed, fed
licked and prettied
with her warm Yiddish tongue.

My father took me walking
in Yiddish
to see the peacocks
I held on to his Torah pointing finger
And from the sky
raisins and almonds fell
while sitting on his lap to see
the letters of the golden peacock’s rainbow
We held each other
in our hands with joy
as if it were a newborn little chick

I envy those
who in their youth had lovers
caressing, teasing, heating them
in Yiddish
Language of first love

from Rattle #1, 1995

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