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by Rochelle Mass, former Winnipegger living in Israel


Editor's Note: Award-winning Rochelle Mass has published widely in anthologies and journals both in Israel, where she now lives, and also abroad


Waiting for a Message

by Rochelle Mass
Trees help you see slices of sky between branches,
point to things you could never reach.
Trees help you watch the growing happen,
watch blossoms burst then dry,
see shade twist to the pace of a sun,
birds tear at unwilling seeds.
Trees take the eye to where it is,
where it was,
then over to distant hills,
faraway to other places and times,
long ago.
A tree is a lens,
a viewfinder, a window.
I wait below
for a message
of what is yet to come.


Controlling Memories

by Rochelle Mass
I want to pick the apples from the tree behind my daughter's house,
make apple sauce, at least gather the fallen for salad.
I watch them roll into the grass, bird-pocked like grieving pomegranates.
They're not worth the trouble, my daughter says.
Leaves shingle the grass with crusty shapes.
I slide over, paddle along.
The swooshing hugs my shoes as I think of apple pies, clear jelly.
At her cafe, my daughter bakes cornmeal muffins
with rosemary and red pepper to be served with vegetable chili.
By mid-morning she's made apple tarts, but from apples
the grocer sends me
she says mine are not good quality.
That afternoon I go with my father to 8th Avenue, where we lived
when I was a child. I look for the tree that spread over most of the yard.
The apples were a bit sour, I remember, green with a red slash on the side.
The yard looked too large; the tree wasn't there.
Another was in the very same place, a sapling
with wrinkled, pleated fruit. They're plums, I see, when I come close.
Hadn't been picked, hanging heavy from each limb.

Things have changed, said my father. The back porch has a place to sit now.



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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.