Some Poems from Chapbook,
Spring Apples Silver Birch

She loved apples
they tell me.
The serpent offered,
the fruit peddler yelled,
"Red apples! Who'll buy
red apples!" In the gardens
she left in the Ukraine,
leaves mixed of sky
and yellow light.
There she'd meet in secret
a young boy forbidden to her.

Soon in America, "Here
for adventure," she said.
(Does escaping pogroms,
like The Fall,
fall in that category?) She did

seamstress work and wore
"a dark blue skirt and white
waist." Father lovingly recalled
setting eyes on her. Being
eighteen neatly sewed it up,

apple fragrant dreams

of garden gone

across the sea.

From a yahrzeit glass

I drink her memory.
I drop her death's reminder. It shatters
on the ivory-colored floor.
The shards, a puzzle spread out
on milk and cream like my mother's skin.

Sisters said, brothers said,
"Don't touch it! You'll get hurt."`

And my tongue, our mother tongue is cut
I try to lick the honeyed center
into history, on pages
that stick as barbs and halt all speech.
(Though rabbis would
drop the sweet stuff inside a child's
new book, open to the spine—Torah, all
learning tasty forever.)

Torn custom
asks us, willing groom with bride
to break the wine glass, with love
stamp on it hard.


I still want to know

her breath—
Even if cold like Russian steppe,

or warm as golden grain
fields of Ukraine and gardens

filled with spring apples
and silver birch.

Never too late—to hear the wind
chime the hour of angels.

Spring Apples
Silver Birch
By: B.E. Kahn
Published by:
Greenleaf Press
Copyright 2008
To Order

Copyright 2010