Thursday, April 17, 2014

Manischewitz

Once a year, for one week straight,
A beer I will decline.
Instead, I will indulge in
Manischewitz kosher wine.

If you have never tried it,
Well, your life is not complete,
But you’d sure surprise your taste buds
‘Cause it’s sickeningly sweet.

Since it’s part of my tradition,
It’s a habit I can’t break
And from childhood sips to current times,
I’ve stuck with Concord Grape.

Though I’m not at all religious,
I’m nostalgic for the past
And at Seders* long ago,
The Manischewitz die was cast.

Certain connoisseurs of culture
Call me out and say, “Enough!
Now it’s time to climb the ladder
And reject that sweetened stuff.”

But a creature (me!) of habit
Thinks that Manischewitz wine,
Like the macaroons and matzoh,
Fits the holiday just fine.

*Passover meal

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Playing the New Card

Mah Jongg is a game that’s strange
‘Cause every year the cards will change,
So you may try to play a hand
That once was there at your command
But now that pattern isn’t there,
Which feels a little bit unfair.

Until you learn the latest card,
The challenges are really hard,
For you might try to reconcile
The hand you’re dealt with what’s on file
Within your brain from last year’s sets
And that’s as tricky as it gets.

Each formula appears askew.
Repeating old ones is taboo;
And though it is a tad confusing,
There’s no upside to refusing.
Everyone must be on board;
Acceptance is its own reward.

The more you play, the more you’ll learn
And soon enough, when it’s your turn,
You’ll realize you’ve absorbed the new,
Like all the Mah Jongg players do;
But once you’re comfy, only then –
They’ll go and change the card again!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Catered

On holidays I want a meal
That’s home-made through and through,
Composed from all the recipes
My mom and grandmas knew;

The preparations lovingly
Created in the kitchen
(Although, to be quite honest,
There might be a little bitchin’).

The shopping, chopping, mixing, blending
All become a part
Of memories of days gone by
That live within the heart.

It sure would be a lot less work,
Luxurious, indeed,
To have a caterer drop by
With all the food you need.

Yet what I’d miss the most would be,
Though not in terms of taste,
Ingredients intangible,
Not easily replaced.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Passover Again

The recipes have dawdled
In their box for nigh a year,
But now they'll get some brand-new stains;
The holiday is here.

It's time to clean and shop and bake - 
From scratch, if you are able - 
And then to find that special cloth
To decorate the table.

The wine is waiting to be poured,
The napkins folded neatly;
The soup is bubbling on the stove,
The baby napping sweetly.

When evening falls, we'll gather 'round
With family and friends
And read the oft-told story,
Though we know just how it ends.

And then we'll eat the festive meal,
Familiar and delish;
To do it all again next year
Would be my fervent wish.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Who Can Tell?

You wake up in the morning
And everything seems swell.
The day is first unfolding, though,
So who can really tell?

Perhaps your daily exercise
Goes slightly out of whack
And suddenly there's stabbing pain
All through your lower back.

Or maybe, in an anxious state
You think, for calming's sake,
You'll take an aspirin but you pop
The wrong pill by mistake.

Or possibly, you leave to meet
Friends in another state,
But there's construction on the road
And you're an hour late.

No matter how the day begins,
There's no way in the world
To know what lies in wait for you
As hours are unfurled.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

One Colossal Goof

You have never tasted chocolate
‘Til you’ve had yourself a bite
Of a truffle bought in Belgium,
Like the one I had tonight.

Purchased on my last vacation –
Seemed it was the thing to do –
I had not yet had a nibble
‘Cause I didn’t have a clue.

But a visit from my daughter
Was the motivating force
And it only took a tiny taste
To fill me with remorse.

For my mouth became electric
From a chocolate so intense
That the small amount I purchased
Didn’t make a lot of sense.

Oh, at times I must acknowledge
Making one colossal goof
And if you could taste this truffle,
You’d have all you need as proof.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Solar Smiles

I bought a solar tulip
And I placed it on the sill
And every time it dances
Well, I get a little thrill.

Its head bops back and then bops forth;
The leaves flap up and down.
Just giving it a glance can make
A smile from any frown.

A little joy is all it takes
To brighten up my mood.
My tulip thus deserves from me
A nod of gratitude.