a poetry e-zine










Gershon Ben-Avraham
Even if the Ink is Pale

The past is never dead. It's not even past.
- William Faulkner

When I am old, read me this,
even if the ink is pale.

Today, I had a memory so strong I felt younger.
You and I were standing at an ice cream truck
stopped at the end of our street. Really though,
only I was standing. You were dancing,
jumping, foot to foot.

Pointing to pictures,
I asked you what you wanted.

You ran home with it dripping
to show Mom.

I wonder if he knows, the man I saw today,
standing with his daughter
ordering ice cream from a truck.
I wonder if he knows what he’s buying.

May I keep this memory.
May it not be taken from me,
even if it cannot remain so vivid,
so real.

But if I can’t keep it,
may I remember its feeling.
And if not even that, still here, now,
in this moment I have it.

Daughter, when I am old, read me this,
even if the ink is pale.

Hide and Seek

When young,
he played the children’s game,
thinking then,
with covered eyes,
that none could see him.

Seeing him,
they pretended,
pretended only
he wasn’t there.

Now, with her,
he plays a different game,
though some may say
this one’s the same.

If he doesn’t hear it,
it didn’t happen;
if he isn’t told,
it isn’t so.

So he begs her
not to tell him,
not use her lips
to shape suffering sounds.

Pain has no friends,
needs no messengers.
It will come.
You need not seek it.
From it no one hides.

It will come
when it will come.

Gershon Ben-Avraham lives with his wife Beth and their collie Kulfi [Hindi for 'ice cream'] in Merion Station, Pennsylvania. His poetry and short stories have been published on-line or in print in the following publications: Apollo’s Lyre, Bolts of Silk, Both Sides Now, Numinous: Spiritual Poetry, Poetica Magazine, and Poetry Pacific.

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