Maybe pickled herring
and gefillte fish
fresh hot bagels
rye bread just out of the oven
matzos with butter and salt
grandma’s strudel

Here lies my Jewishness
in a cloud of kitchen odors
and memories

And my kids, my WASP/Jews
where have they landed?
Their food memories mixed with
Christmas carols
and the Saint Matthew’s Passion
weave a tangled trail to god
or whatever.

I found a lapsed Methodist
my son compounded the sin
with a lapsed Catholic
who takes the grandchildren
to learn about holiness
folded in the Unitarian embrace.

Perhaps some unhappy child
will return to God
in her more usual embodiment.

Food for the body
and music for the soul
will suffice for the rest of us.

And when I am burned
and thrown to the waves
let someone say “shalom”
to that which was
and is no more
neither in man’s heaven or hell
nor here on earth

Lari Smith