RIFKAH GOLDBERG
MEETING THE CHILDREN

A quarter of a century ago
It was meeting the parents
Now totally out of the blue
It is meeting the children

Days crawl by absentmindedly
From one scenario to another
Nights tossed to and fro
Filled with possible nightmares

"Why are you rushing again?"
My older son angrily accuses
"I don't want another mother"
Cautions his younger child

What sort of home do I envision
Spanning the entire religious spectrum?
Is unison across two parts of the city
The ideal he has in mind?

My children eye the usurper with suspicion
His children fashion me into a religious fanatic
We both have to look up to plead
With this incongruous towering brood

"Mummy what does he do?
Who can make a living as a writer?"
"Daddy do you really want a wife
Obsessed with painting decrepit chairs?"

Will we ever make the grade
As second-hand home-makers?
Will dubious permission be granted us
To combine our grandchildren in peace?

Can our desperate aging love
Create a patchwork family
A padded multi-faceted quilt
Repairing broken dreams?

May 2001