RIFKAH GOLDBERG
STILL THERE?

Twenty-five years ago or so
My toddler son would
Open my eyes every morning
To see if I was still there

So many times since then
I craved for my mother's approval
That small point of certitude
To puncture the nightmare

I have cried out in vain
For my tortured father
Only to remember he is dead
So I must bear my own doubts

For many years of nights
I would reach out for the man
I thought I married forever
To uncover our violated promise

I would daily search for
My children at friends' houses
Then in their beds until they came
To their broken but only home

Many a time I looked for my job
To find it no longer there
For one reason or other
Eroding my false security

Now every new dawn
I strain open my own eyes
And switch on my radio to see
If the world is still there

October 2001