Summer 2004


Summer 2004

Esther Altshul Helfgott

She’ll be coming for them soon
dolled up in her dangling earrings,
purple lips and orange hair.
She’ll be coming in her layers
of mix-matched dresses and pants,
garments to shield her sacraments.
But until then the daughters
will be sitting around the table
sculpting syllables into words,
sucking chocolate-covered raisins
and sipping plum brandy.
Oh yea, Mother.
She’ll be coming for those daughters
soused up, talking Jesus,
never again,
and Chinese Jews.
Grandma Dementia’s waiting for her girls
and don’t they know it
all wrapped up in meter and line.
They’re expecting to be found.
But not now, Sisters, not now.

Esther Altshul Helfgott is a Seattle poet and teacher with a doctorate in history from the University of Washington . Her writing has appeared in The American Psychoanalyst, The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Review, The Religious Studies Review, The Dakota House Journal, Spindrift, Switched-on-Gutenberg and other periodicals. Her work on homelessness and schizophrenia, The Homeless One: A Poem in Many Voices (Kota Press, 2000), has been performed as a play. Esther edits the on-line literary journal: The Psychoanalytic Experience: Analysands Speak. She is the founding coordinator of Seattle’s It's About Time Writers' Reading Series, now in its 15th year.



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