Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

“Self Portrait” — a Portrait of Hope

Posted by Roberta Levine on November 27, 2015

As we retreat into the warmth of family and holiday tradition, we’d like to share a poem that envisions the shared values of our community.

Self Portrait
The Day After
The Paris Massacre

Today I identify
with my All-Clad colander
on the granite counter
between my kitchen
and the table where sits
my racially, all-clad
American family.

I pour a boiling pot of noodles
through the colander into the sink.
The water runs off
but the noodles stay,
ready for however I choose to serve them.

The noodles I prefer today
are the multi-colored kind
we find on the shelves at Giant Eagle.
To me they represent multi-mommies —
Asian, African, Israeli, European, Latina.

Mommies in head scarves,
mommies in hijab,
plain white mommies,
each with a matching baby,
on their way to play
together in the Family Lounge
at my center,
my Jewish center,
my Jewish Community Center.

I pour all the noodles into the colander.
Water runs off and returns to rain.
I prepare the dish with butter,
sour cream and Israeli sheep-milk feta.

Today, after the Paris Massacre,
I hope that the multi-mommies
are as conscious as I am
that we have to stay together

while waste waters
of the conflict kitchens
of the world
run down
the drain.
— Jamie Benjamin

Jamie Benjamin, a retired addictions counselor, lives in Squirrel Hill. She is a member of the Informal Madwomen poetry workshop.

“Self Portrait” was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Saturday, November 21, 2015. Featured image, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Related Posts

Can you avoid stress?

Stress is definitely a fact of life for all of us lately and for now, there is no end in sight. We may not be able to do anything about the source of ...
read more

We are still dreaming. Let's ensure every person is counted

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin bu...
read more

31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions

Behavior experts say that it takes about 1 month to form new habits, and many people try to create (or break) habits at the start of each year. With t...
read more

An Unprecedented Year

I distinctly remember two phone calls my wife and I received shortly before 10 a.m. that day. “Are you in shul? The street is blocked by police cars...
read more