RIFKAH GOLDBERG
THREE SISTERS

Three girls, auburn, dark brown and black-haired
On the well-kept lawn with colourful borders
Creating a safe place in which to play and dream

One craves success in medical research
One imagines fame as a writer
One longs for deep love and passion

Thirty years on that lawn has become a dream
Fame and fortune are distant visions
Love and passion fragile, fleeting myths

One's family senselessly and irrevocably shattered
Another's disrupted by chronic illness
The third hanging together despite growing pains

One looks out onto the parched desert of Jerusalem
Another onto grass-starved concrete of New York
And the third onto a drab yard in North-East England

Which landscape is real and which is a fantasy?
The secure green lawn, the scorched scrub,
The unrelenting cement, or the blackened stones?

1997