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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, December 22, 2015.
About this Poem 

“An eruv is the wire boundary defining an area where Jews are permitted some of the activities forbidden outside their homes on the Sabbath. Assisted living facilities can seem a kind of eruv where none of the old rules apply and ancient arguments are ludicrous or, certainly, beside the point.”
Rebecca Okrent

Eruv


You inhabit a district delineated for wobble-headed men and
      blue-haired
women. Outside your window snow shimmers; a suet feeder
      hangs from a birch
waiting for a woodpecker; your darkened room’s a liquid
      compass whose needle
you ride in your dreams as in your wakeful hours. No word
      intrudes.

We’re so far from our beginnings—yours in Ohio, mine in you—
      exiled
from rivalries, resentments, your deforming disappointments.
So easy now my hand stroking yours, simple affection
carved from the side of the hulk that survived the storms.

Could you have found me easier to love if I’d been less
      suspicious
of happiness? I envied you your easy crawl out to the buoy and
      back,
learned the legend of you that ended as I began. Our lives are
      so much
less than what we make of them, or the reverse, your kicking

toward weightlessness delivering you to granite carved with
      your name.
 

Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Okrent. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 22, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Okrent. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 22, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Rebecca Okrent

Rebecca Okrent

Rebecca Okrent is the author of Boys of My Youth (Four Way Books, 2015). She splits her time between New York City and Wellfleet, Massachusetts.