A Note to Aunt Judaism: ( at the news of my partners conversion)
By Leonore Gordon
1. You have always been there, Like a great-aunt only seen on holidays - the kind you never miss but always find yourself unexpectedly hugging hard,
the kind of kin who can be relied on for a quiet walk, to throw a ball, who will want to know, really, how you are,
the one who you want to call on birthdays, and always forget -
2. The woman I love has invited you into our home! She wants you here all the time; she wants you to live with us -
I was not prepared for this, not from a woman who was once Muslim, who skitters from the daily-ness of most friendships, most religions, and yes - who has always been fond of you, read your books, wanted to know you better, and lately, has spent more time with you on holidays than I have.
When she fasted on Yom Kippur, shushed me during endless all-day services, I was foolishly pleased, thought that eventually, and this is the key word, - eventually, - how nice, we would all grow closer.
3. I am jealous, afraid, excited, by the space you are taking up in my home. Your writings are scattered everywhere; the bed, the kitchen table, even the bathroom remind me that you are being embraced by the woman I love.
Invited to join this lovefest, I cannot, will not do so, not yet, not now, maybe if I watch you from a distance.
Leonore Gordon is a poet; an individual and family therapist in private practice; and teaches poetry in the the New York City public schools for Teachers & Writers Collaborative. She is also the parent, along with Amina (the star of my poem), of a feisty bi-racial eight-year old named Josh, who is being raised Jewish in a multiracial progressive synagogue where he and Amina can feel comfortable. Leonore is a member of Kolot Chayeinu (Voices of Our Lives) in Brooklyn, NY.