The Nanny’s Gift
The Star of David resembles a golden
heart, the letters chai
engraved in silver. The gentle conviviality
of the High Holy
I hold Daniel on my lap, our photo is
taken with a flash, my shirt gleams
white against my
darkened skin, my hair shining and long
like my grief. Daniel is too young
to know I am leaving him.
When I open the box, his mother says,
This is to bring you back to us.
She has another child growing, a girl,
she has considered an abortion
but she thinks of her baby in my
capable hands, caring for her
the way I care for Daniel.
My own sons are ten and eleven,
independent, riding bikes, speaking
like one of the tribe, sneaking cigarettes,
admiring guns when friends take us to the army base.
It is too late for Eliana to have the
she is resigned but she will be happy,
I know this. Every morning I pick
up at 7:05 sharp but we are a family
about to be broken. The day after Yom Kippur
I will fly back to the States. Letters
and photos curl into
boxes. One night I wear the Magen David—
when I get home it is missing. Is it an
When I remove my dress, it is there,
to my pantyhose.
My hopes rise again.