Sunday, August 9, 2009



Eleh toldot Margot I will tell,
listen closely, do not break the spell.
Although there will be very few sensations,
you’ll learn from it all Margot’s generations.

Last of Walther Silbersteins, dear Margot
never favored Yiddish as her argot,
Hochdeutsch being her true mammeloschen.
She can, however, speak without distortion
the English we associate with Queens,
the meaning of whose every word she gleans,
like Ruth when walking through the alien corn,
untimely from her native language torn,
appreciating in these verses mirth
with which today we celebrate her birth.
A hundred years ago in Berlin, Prussia,
she first erupted like a Texan gusher,
born to Leah, loving wife of Gershon,
very soon the favorite diversion
of Walther, haberdasher to the Prussians,
who joined his firstborn Werner in discussions
regarding music, politics and Torah.
These subjects all were ones that would not bore her
as she grew up (and this is no non sequitur)
to be no yuppie but a frum young Yekkete.

She had a sister who died young, her brother
could not save her, nor save her ailing mother,
but Raja came to nurse and won the heart
of Werner whom she taught the loving art.
As soon as he began this girl to court
his sister gave him very strong support.
Their father went to Russia to be sure
that Raja’s bloodlines truly were quite pure.
He found they were, and Werner was delighted––
all Berlin to the wedding was invited,
approving of the huppah and qiddushin
once they knew she was Jewish, not a Russian.
Till she and Werner went to Palestine
in 1933, bad year except for wine,
all three were closest friends, but had to wait
throughout the war to learn each other’s fate,
although from thirty-nine to forty-five
she did not know if they were still alive,
for Werner went to Istanbul to practice
since Turkey did not seem to like the Axis.

Though to Marienbad she went for a cure,
she did not make a Palestinian tour
since Max would not part with her for one second,
a rule with which she every moment reckoned,
since by the apron strings she was most tightly tied.
She cared for him each day until he died,
most graciously accepting the great yoke
of nursing him, afflicted by a stroke,
in their own bedroom, turned into a ward––
no limits to the love she would afford.

Let’s now return to when she was a maiden
in Berlin which she thought was a gan ayden,
though Meir Simhah of Dvinsk concluded
that those who so believed were quite deluded.
She lit cigars for her dear father Walther,
deterring men who hoped they could adulter,
while searching for a vest and tie and shirt,
less on the haberdashery alert
than on the owner’s lovely daughter, Margot,
for lusty Prussian eyes a common target.
From what in the Lyceum she had learned
she knew what these men claimed they really weren’t,
believing all these Prussians to be third-rate,
preferring men from Leipzig in the fur-trade.
And so from Hepners’ clan she chose a Max, on
whom she would dote, although he was a Saxon,
no Prussian like her dad, not even German,
though he could understand a Yekkish sermon.
He managed very clearly to romance her
In Klopstockstrasse, center of the Hansa.
German nationality to him seemed phony,
yet they were joined in holy matrimony,
not naturalized her Max, remaining Polish,
which in the twenties seemed to be most foolish,
but smart when Hitler sent the German Jews
to camps, but let the Polish ones run loose.

One year the couple lived in Berlin, hard
for Max to stay from all his folk apart.
He missed his father’s blessing and compelled
dear Margot to leave Berlin, for he held
that she should live in Leipzig with his mother:
and she obeyed because Max gave no other
address for her to choose: he did not rush her,
but very soon they said goodbye to Prussia.
Though Margot liked the bright lights of her city,
where Cabaret was played, and girls were pretty,
and men like Isherwood became the cameras
observing bright young people who were amorous,
her husband made her move to Leipzig where
young Margot with her Max became a pair.

Now Leipzig was the home of J. S. Bach,
where Leibnitz was Professor. Auerbach
lived in a cellar there, where Goethe’s Faust
with Mephistopheles once chose to joust.
There Mendelssohn and Schumann used to live,
and Wagner too was born––can we forgive
his trespasses against us? ––and it is
where both would settle, for that’s where in bus-
iness the Hepner brothers tried to earn
their daily bread, where Elie, Jakob, Bern-
hard, older brothers of young Max sold furs,
the skin trade that’s the root of all this verse.
Their sister Sarah married Label Merkin
who thought the Hepner brothers were just jerkin’
around, and with his son called Herman moved
to New York, from the Hepner clan removed,
though Sarah was the one who in Victoria
would welcome Margot, when in great dysphoria,
the train brought her to London just two days
before the war made Margot change her ways.
Things changed, of course, especially when revenue
enabled them to live midtown, Park Avenue,
while in no forest like the one of Arden’s
Max, Margot rented rooms in Highfield Gardens,
where every year before Yom Kippur’s fast
the landlady would telephone and blast
the ears of Max and Margot with her whine:
“Why don’t you all go back to Palestine?”
The Merkin saga later was enriched
by Daphne’s famous chronicle, Bewitched,
a masterpiece perhaps, although I’d rather
bring honor to my mother and my father
by writing with respect. My fingers itch
to show how Margot’s life became so rich.

She joined the Hepner family like Elfe,
from Frankfurt-on-the Main whom Jakob fell for,
and Fanny, from the famous Hamburg clan
of Levy who chose Bernhard as her man,
as she would choose for David Pell much later
his wife called Rita. As a shiddach dater
she brought the two together, and now they
both come to visit Margot every day,
a tribute to the shadchan as to them,
for which we must thank Fanny and Hashem.

Three Yekkes joined the Hepners and were friends,
and tried to show their husband different trends
from those which Feige Leah preached and taught.
We have no record what my Oma thought
about these hoydens and heir naughty ways,
acceptable perhaps to Louis Seize,
but quite as foreign to the matriarch
as Tam O’Shanter’s girl friend’s cutty sark.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot? I wonder,
when these three girls round Leipzig used to wander,
and showed the natives how a modern girl in
Hamburg and in Frankfort lived, and Berlin,
did anybody think that they could scare ’em
by putting them, like Benedict, in herem?

She lived then on Thomasiusstrasse near
the church where Bach wrote music very dear
to Margot and her brother Werner, he
a most accomplished pianist, the key
to his appreciation Richard Strauss,
not often heard within the Hepner house.
To Thomaskirche Margot would not go––
for Hepners this would be a great big no,
and though enlightened, Margot did not search
for inspiration in a Lutheran church,
despite the organ loft where Bach would play––
she spent her time where she and Max would pray,
pre-modern orthodox, Mizrachi-minded
before it was the fashion, be reminded.

Die Grosseschul became dear Margot’s mecca––
and she was welcome though she was a Yekke,
by all Ostyidden of the Hepner clan,
who used to put all Yekkes in a ban
not quite as bad as that which kept sub rosa
in Amsterdam the heretic Spinoza.

(The difference between Yekkes and Ostyidden
to many Jews today is largely hidden.
Quite different strokes for different folks, the jokes
of Yekkes for Ostyidden artichokes
that seem to have no heart, quite unfamiliar
with humor that proclaims their Anglophilia.
The Yekkes to a meal’s end draw attention
with Mahlzeit, while rabboisay mir wolln benschen
is what Ostyidden say––without mezummen
you don’t know if they’re goin’ or they’re comin’.)

Yet often Margot dreamed of J. S. Bach
while playing with her children in the park
as she would play in later years with Gershy,
before he went to Mayo or to Hershey,
for on the sand in Bournemouth on the beach
while V2’s fell in London, he would teach,
when not exploited as an infant chaperone,
protecting Margot who’d not stay alone
with her admirers, for she’d only ride
to Isle of Wight if he was by her side,
the rules of cricket while his mother dreamed
of Gretchen at the spinning wheel, it seemed.

To Max she bore four children. First came Esther
who turned her into no-more-empty nester.
Two years later, father Walther died,
a sad even that they all tried to hide
from her for thirty days because another
delivery occurred, young Esther’s brother,
called Israel Judah on his eighth-day bris––
for Max’s father from Mezritch comes this––
but known to family and friends as Leo,
a name that for the English has more brio.
For Esther there is no need for apology:
she’s doctor of philosophy—psychology,
not only a disciple of Carl Jung,
but also mistress of the Hebrew tongue.
For eight long years then Margot sadly waited
till Walther’s name could be commemorated.
My middle name is his, and Gershon clearly
the Hebrew name of Walther she loved dearly.

Now Leo’s claims to fame are most impressive.
He leads all Europe’s Jews who are progressive,
and loves all modern music with bravado,
of chamber music an aficionado.
Not far from Marx’s grave is his apartment,
but pharmaceutics now is his department,
more tolerant than Marx and less splenetic,
to opium of the people sympathetic,
provided that the ritual is restrained,
by principles that Leo Baeck maintained.
He’s spent a lot of time to solve the mystery
surrounding Walther’s origins. His history
begins in far east Prussia close to Lith-
uania, an enigma wrapped in myth,
yet no historians had recorded how
the Silbersteins moved westwards and are now
in places where he found them to be scattered
as though their history is not one that mattered.
He’ll write this up, the truth will set us free:
we’ll have the facts instead of mystery.
Post scriptum. After Margot died he married
Regina, making all the years he’d tarried
without her seem to be a wilderness:
obliging Leo with her great noblesse.
He lives as if to her he is ligated,
in London’s west end high, no more Highgated.

The third child born in Leipzig then was Rita,
more pleasant than a J. S. Bach partita,
and dearer to her parents than a Passion.
Three children in those days were quite the fashion,
the triple cord that never can be broken,
but then more tender than a subway token,
perhaps an afterthought, came baby Gershon,
like Goldberg’s Variations a new version
of what they had produced before, so now
they were a family of six. Somehow
the timing wasn’t good, they said to Margot,
for now there was a baby as a target
for Hitler and his hateful S. S. minions
who spread throughout all Europe’s old dominions.
That baby later turned into a poet
who’d hold a line but often would not tow it.
Despite the timing that was awful she
took steps with Max to make sure they’d be free.

They all got out of Germany, for Max
had kept his Polish papers. There was pax
between the Germans and the Poles while crystal
was shattered in November, and no pistol
was fired in the city famed for Bach
at Margot’s best friend, Felix Carlebach,
whom she hid in her house while Nazis tried
to find all German Jews. Though many died,
she saved young Felix who would send her yearly,
November seventh, flowers, caring dearly
for her since she, when all the glass was shattered,
had saved his life. His praises never flattered
the woman to whom he quite surely owed
his life when hidden in her safe abode,
and though his language was extremely flowery,
she treasured it as if it was her dowry.

Soon after this the S. S. came to Margot
while nursing Gershon, story that’s been saga’d
in annals of the Hepners. She, no Pole,
a Berliner with Prussia in her soul,
was vulnerable in ways that Max was not,
but luckily that day there was no shot,
for she’d called Dr. Adler, who made sure
the baby became febrile. “There’s no cure,”
she told the S.S., muttering their curses––
that’s how I lived to write for Margot verses
commemorating how she brought her brood
to London, where their life would be renewed,
not forgetting to bring Bernard Shaw’s
collected works, and Shakespeare’s, to these shores,
verbessert und verteitscht. She would abandon
more precious objects, setting out for Hendon.
Few German works apart from Goethe, Heine:
she thought the English writers were far finer
translated into German, but she brought
all sifrei qodesh as a Jewess ought.

There is one loss that Leo would restore: int-
imidating portrait Lovis Corinth
once painted of her father without fee
some fifteen years before she had to flee.
She chose a portrait by a lesser master,
of her father an iconoclaster:
for taste there is a never-ending cycle,
and she preferred the portrait made by Feigl.

She spent eight months in Angel’s Mountain, Swiss,
with Fanny and was careful not to diss
her husband’s aging mother Feige Leah
whose rule was everybody should obey her.
She nearly keep them back. She had no visa
till Max found ways to bribe the Polish Caesar.
‘What do I owe?’ he asked, and took the hint
when told to give to Mutter und das Kind.
Though Margot went ahead and Fanny followed
with Feige Leah it was she who swallowed
the bitter pill of looking after Granny,
with no escape for her as for Aunt Fanny,
and it became her duty then to care
for what in Anglo-French is mal de mer.

They moved to Cardiff, then to Harrogate,
where she became a mother surrogate
for Sarah, old Elias Hepner’s daughter,
whom she helped marry in her rented quarter.
She paid for huppah and qedushin, not forgetting
all others costs connected with the wedding.
They moved to Hendon then, and then to Golders,
the Green where now you find beneath all boulders
a lot of shuls here Jews can meet their Maker,
including one that in those days was led
by Elie Munk, a Yekke born and bred
who after his barmitzvah brought immersion
in Talmud in a Hebrew class to Gershon.

His shul was far too Yekkish for Ostyidden
who wished to keep their German background hidden.
and that’s why Max decided to install
a Rabbi Knoblewicz who would lead all
the men who were not Yekkes to Adass,
in Hendon, where they davened without fuss
that Yekkes make to stop the people schmooze,
which is a sin that Yekkes all refuse
to sanction while they’re in the holy sanctum––
for this fine deed not many thanked him.
(Before R.K. a Michel Munk was hired,
who to the U.S. very soon retired,
attracted less to pounds than to the dollar
which was a shame: he was a major scholar,
while R.K.’s sermons were quite soporific,
though as my teacher he was quite terrific.)

Of Margot I must say how freely she
kept open house; her hospitality
was legendary. Her home became a shrine,
as guests would come en route to Palestine.
Support she gave was not more than a Band-aid
for those who fought the heartless British mandate,
but helped Jews who could not help one another
in Palestine as they were by my mother.
Her larder and her icebox Margot rifled
for sixteen of the Gardens then in Highfield.
While Max to Mansion House would go, a furrier,
she stayed at home, a warrior and a worrier,
and fed the needy in the town and country,
amongst whom there were countless schnorrers, sundry.
Since Sarah Dinah she at birth was named,
to emulate our Matriarch she aimed:
hakhnosas orhim in that distant era
she would perform just like her namesake, Sarah.

The food was rationed in those times. How did
one make a scrambled egg? From egg that’s powdered,
though Margot always seemed to know a farmer
who’d find her eggs. She surely was a charmer
of all the tradesmen in the neighborhood,
at least the ones who thought they understood
what she was saying, for her English accent
made what she said sound very Anglo-Saxoned.

Apart from Mr. Sulzbacher no books
of Jewish interest could be found in nooks
where Margot shopped. She’d tighten leaky faucets
when they would leak in winter, and bought corsets
from trusty Jewish women so her figure
despite the food she served, would grow no bigger.
She didn’t wear a sheitel for a turban
appeared in those days to be more surburban.
(I put a line in here about a Sikh,
but took it out since Linda said it’s weak.)
By doing this she hoped to commandeer
her youth, and seemed to do so year by year,
for though youth isn’t quite renewable,
renewal in her case seemed almost doable.
In later years, her husband didn’t pester
dear Margot when she took it off for Esther.

Like Soloveitchik’s wife she went bareheaded,
which is quite kosher––Soloveitchik said it.
He used to eat at Werner’s in Berlin,
when eating with a woman was no sin
as it’s become today when even pizza
may not be eaten if there’s no mehitsah.
One kosher butcher in those days, one grocer, Grabers,
no Jewish school within those pleasant arbors.
Two kosher bakers where one could buy challahs––
no smoking then, not even of Abdullas!
Education of the kids depended
on rabbis who were easily offended.
No Jewish schools to teach the huddled masses
of refugees, except some Hebrew classes
when school was over. First and second graders
would then be sent to learn in Hebrew cheders.
Esther went to school in La Sagesse,
a convent where they taught her more or less
all that a Jewish girl must know of Jesus.
She has not passed it on to any nieces
or nephews, for that matter, although one
might well now say to her, “Well done!”
for Lonny, having started out rabbinical,
learned la sagesse when turning ecumenical.

The family all moved to Highfield Gardens where
the sisters shared a room, with one to spare
for Feige Leah, matriarch and Oma,
who, till she finally lapsed into coma
would try to tell her how to run her home,
with orders beating like a metronome.
When Gershy ran butt naked through the house
she told his parents, “You must warf ihn raus.”
His nakedness gave her a dreadful fright:
“Was tiet das kind,” she asked “naketaheit?”
A doodlebug that threatened to rain doom
once shattered all the windows of her room,
but she survived, although she’d lost her wits,
the aleatory horrors of the blitz,
till in her sleep she died, far from Mezritch
which in Galicia was her natal niche.
(It’s sad to think how Margot later
would have to care for Max as for his mater,
when he became bedridden like his mother,
no ripe old age for him, like Margot’s brother.
She bore a double burden in her life,
far greater than expected from a wife.
When shows are over and they draw the curtains
they tend not to remember double burdens.
Life isn’t always sweet, it can be rotten,
which I believe should never be forgotten.)

Sometimes Margot and her children slept
beneath a metal shelter whose roof kept
the family protected from V2s,
until the BBC declared the news
the war was over, with its dreadful cost,
including, as we know, the holocaust,
for in that war all Jews had been the target,
as few in London knew as well as Margot,
and her close family, including Fanny,
my aunt who always seemed to be uncanny,
and Bernhard, Max’s brother, with strange habits.
he used to make fur coats from little rabbits,
and taught this skill to Arie who became
the last of Hepner furriers whose fame
was great in Leipzig when all Hepner brothers
made coats men give to girlfriends and their mothers.

Once the war had ended yet another
began in Palestine where Margot’s brother
had gone in 1933. The two
their close relationship would not renew
for many years, indeed they threw a party
for Werner when a hundred just as hearty
as that which they now throw for Margot when
she too becomes a D plus D doyenne.
While he became Professor with a lot
of prizes, Margot knew precisely what
the destiny of Jewish women is…..
to be not just a mother, but, gee-whiz,
grandmother and what I’d say is far greater,
a great-grandmother, that’s a Supermater.

She’s got two sons-in-law of whom she proud,
first Moshe, whom her daughter Esther wowed,
Professor at the Hebrew U. whose critics
admired for his German and Semitics.
In academia he was a mighty player,
definitive the text of all Isaiah
his magnum opus, though Aleppo Codex
smoothed Masoretic wrinkles more than Botox,
then David who would wow her other daughter,
called Rita, with a courtship that was shorter.
Aunt Fanny said: “See Rita, you must check her.”
he passed with flying colors though no Yekke.
Picture perfect they, like Andrew Wyeth,
more admirable than David with Goliath.
Though Moshe’s not with us, which is most sad––
he always made dear Margot very glad.
with his impeccable High German manner,
as hard to fault as was his Hebrew grammar!––
she still has David, with his weekly Kiddush,
and Wienerdeutsch, which I believe is Yiddish.
With Rita he still cares for Margot daily,
Like Queen Victoria by Disraeli.

One single in-law daughter Margot’s got,
called Linda, who, quite like the wife of Lot,
looks back to times when she was just a wench
whom Gershy picked up, practicing his French,
and still looks forward to the best of times,
correcting all her husband’s shaky rhymes.
To see his errors soon became her mission,
great vision for a daughter of optician
Joe Roer, who made sure she was a hoyden
quite worthy of the public school in Croydon.

Before I list great-grandchildren I’ll mention
some grandchildren who truly are great menschen
although they still have not produced, as far
as I know, any offspring. These men are
young Benjamin, the Binman of the Wicked,
a mavin of the Wisden scores of cricket,
when he’s not suing for a lot of cash
the papers who have rummaged through his trash,
and Johnny who is busy making money,
for Jo, his lovely wife, who is a honey,
although he is employed by Morgan Stanley,
she loves the man because he’s very manly,
and knows that it is proper for our nation
to have no truck with sex discrimination.

There’s Boaz who plays poker with his buddies,
and thinks the ones who don’t are fuddy-duddies.
He’ll soon be off the mark once he is ready,
and find a job that really is more steady.
And finally there’s Zak whose mohel knife
has still not helped him find a lovely wife;
like Margot’s husband he is fond of skin,
but when it’s fore, it does not help him win
a wife while on the Westside he is dating,
though maybe it brought mazel in day-trading,
for Margot’s grandson, grandson too, of Ada,
is more than a mere mohel––a day-trader.
He’s also a bal qore and a posseler
of sifrei torah. When trained by Reb Yossele
he learned to take the very greatest pains
before he cuts, and does so when he leins.
These are the four who have no children yet,
and Margot knows it’s so, and is upset.

Post scriptum, and it will be just a quickie.
Zak found himself at last a kallah, Rikki,
from Monsey, ex Bais Yakov, who intends
to be a doctor. As he makes amends
for all the time he spent as bokhor, Linda
and I happy, while we wait for Kinder.

Of great-grandchildren first come Lonny’s two,
Elisha, Neriyah whom Tamar grew:
extremely handsome both, I’d say, and brilliant,
and what is more important, most resilient.
Elisha’s in the army, Neri studies:
the two are most amazing buddy-buddies.
Then Tal and Mayan, Plussy’s little women,
for good luck they should be a happy simen.
Their grandpa living in the holy city
is my good friend, I should add in this ditty.
(Post scriptum, I should add that when he died
I was extremely sad, and even cried,
because in Kerem Yavneh he had been,
like me, on Talmud studies very keen,
and later, like me, studied the Tanakh,
which both of us enjoyed as much as Bach.)
Not cognitively dissonant, their father
decided, I think wisely, he would rather
add to his personal resume a minus,
which should become a plus to his great guyness.
(This turned out to be true. He found a beauty
in his new wife from Cleveland, who’s called Ruti.
She’s given him more sons, the first one Yuval
establishing a mishpakhah that’s nouvelle,
a child who’s as exciting and as wild
as nouvelle cuisine after Julia Child.
A second came, without a lot of waitin’,
and has the somewhat mighty name of Eitan.
Not with Milton’s hero will I rhyme
his name which makes me think of Stefan Heym,
whose Ezrahite recorded the events
of David’s rule and made of them more sense
than all the victories and Psalsm and flings
you’’ find in Chronicles and Book of Kings;

From Rita and from David Dany sadly
did not survive, though we remember gladly
the happiness he brought to all who knew him,
in his absence we will always rue him.
He surely does deserve a lot of kudos
for being second Daniel ish hamudos.
Gideon’s brood in Stamford is impressive:
an actuary, he thinks four are excessive.
Avidan and Raffi surely are
the greatest, although Jennie is the star.
Gaby has produced a son and heir, an Aussie,
quite like his mother Micki, though less bossy;
his name is not yet clear in Gabi’s manual,
but I believe it’s something close to Daniel.
From Absalom there come, with help of Karin,
three children proving Karin’s no more barren
in holy reproduction than when secular
her focus on biology’s molecular.
The oldest, Yoav, like a cherub smiles,
and with his beauty all the world beguiles.
Then there’s Eve and Ada who are twins:
each one in her own way always wins
the hearts of all, although most do not know
that they by names of great-grandmothers go.
Post scriptum. Avishai I won’t ignore,
born after Margot’s death. With him now four
great-grandkids live in Irvine. All are guaran-
teed to please the whole world, thanks to Karin

For Abigail all motherhood’s a hobby,
for which she has to thank her husband Robby,
the architect who reads banayikh, meaning sons,
and not bonayikh, builders. Theirs are ones
who quite enchant southwestern Pennsylvania,
although it’s hard to tell which one is zanier.
First comes Max’s namesake, Max,
who writes in rhyme already, sans syntax.
His real name’s Yosef Mordecai, for Joe,
who’s Linda’s late lamented father, as you know,
but Ada, when she saw his reddish tint
said, “Here at last I have ein goldenes kind.”
His hair is red like Esau and like David––
none could predict this while his mom was gravid,
although his great-grandmother Ada said
that hair of all the Adelmans was red,
and his dad’s mother Pearl declared that she
was red like all the best in Hungary––
she meant the Weisses, not of course, the Grosses,
and thinks that Magyar was the tongue of Moses.

He got the best from all the old medinos,
as Zachary observed about his penis
when he performed his bris––not quite his first,
for he assured them it was not his worst.
There’s Judah, who’s a redhead too, and there
is also Darius, twins who have to share
the limelight with their brother Wunderkind––
I hope they’ll have a sister too….hint, hint.

Eleh toldot, these are the begettings
of Margot in the very varied settings
that span from Berlin, Leipzig, London to
Jerusalem and Stamford, and, most new,
to Melbourne, not forgetting Allentown,
to which the singer Billy Joel brought renown,
and Irvine, Orange Country, and now last,
although not least, I hope, LA, whose cast
includes this poet-son and Linda, daughter-
in-law who tried to make this poem shorter.
She’s right, of course, it would have been expedient:
but she is good, and I must be obedient.
To make sure that her charms will never fade
she must, like Rumpole’s Hilda, be obeyed.

And so now ends my poem. It’s a tour
around a woman who has great allure.
It’s not a tour de force or tour de France,
that just a few lines I hope may entrance
the people who have known her and the ones
who, like her, are quite partial to my puns
and do not mind the digs I may have made
at people who are joined in this parade,
neglectful of their hopeful claims to glory,
less like a poet than rude rimatori.
Don't let the errors in it cause a crisis,
remember I am writing bobbe mayses,
where being quite historically correct
is trumped by any poetry effect.
The spirit of all wit they say is brevity:
I hope this poem adds to her longevity,
but fearing if I say more I may wrong her
I don’t propose to go on any longer
concerning her begettings, eleh toldos
are truly the true stories Margot told us.

© 2004 Gershon Hepner 7/5/04,
revised in Cambridge, Rosh Chodesh Ab, 5764, 24 days before my mother’s death, and 8/16/04, 8/6/09 and 8/9/09

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