There must be a Yiddish word for the birds
chittering in the bare bushes
ablaze with the life of their voices;
though their bodies blend with branches

their voices belie nothing. My mother’s
of course    I will         I want        sew themselves
through the fabric of
             well       but                          so
to fabricate the flag she flies whose body
suffocates me.                                   Just as

her mother’s vapid bites behind their ears
began that genetic         flutter in my bowels
every time a laugh chimes with derision

I’m feeling certain this winter Sunday
that the yentas kibitzing in the bushes know my name.


Emily LightEmily Light’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bop Dead City, Amaryllis, Star 82 Review, and Ink in Thirds. She works as an English teacher and lives in northern NJ with her husband and son.