Winter Burial

For the sky, that reaches into its hushed pocket,
                                            for the bridle of winter waiting to be released.

For the ghost face which slips over everyone,
                                            for the tusk of the same white beginning.

For crystals that shape themselves while falling,
                                            for the storm’s icy laugh.

For the charred bars of the petting zoo,
                                            whose cages were made out of wood and went up fast.

For the twin goats trapped, for the small fire they turned their back on,
                                            the bread burning, the coffee.

For the one surviving goose housed in a Little Tykes kitchen,
                                            the black centers of his eyes and the string closing the door.

For the fenced in storage area, now zoned for a park,
                                            where there used to be patches of dried grass.

For the last time it snowed on the Jerusalem highway,
                                            and they wouldn’t let anyone in or out.

For the holiday makers, who were stranded
                                            without fun.

For my niece’s baby who never woke up that day,
                                            she was an angel in her crib.

For they got her into the ground just before it froze,
                                            but no one knows where.

For the hidden ear of the tzaddik she is buried next to,
                                            for the cooing she drops into the ground where it melts.

For her small breaths, none of which are
                                            shaped the same.

For the soul, which cracks open the body,
                                            for the body, which is told what it must carry.

For when the ice let me back down the hill,
                                            I found my niece in her kitchen, forgiving everyone.


Jane Medved is the poetry editor of the Ilanot Review, the on-line literary magazine of Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv. Her chapbook “Olam,Shana,Nefesh” was released by Finishing Line Press in 2014. Recent work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Tupelo Quarterly, New American Writing, Poet Lore and Poetry East. A native of Chicago, Illinois, she has lived for the last 25 years in Jerusalem, Israel.