Monday, June 8, 2009

Bury Me With a Cucumber

Bury Me With a Cucumber

Bury me with a cucumber
and when they ask
Why did you do that? It’s not proper! Say,
She asked for it and who am I
to thwart her final wish?

Why cucumber you know, you grew the best; it will
serve well when I am on my longest trip
across the Sheol waters, lapped by waves,
or lying on hard ground beneath a tree
where even gourds are dry. Wet, cool,
I’ll quench my thirst. I’ll feel your skin,
and when you dream of Egypt, think of me.

Bury me with melons,
and when they say,
Not done, how dare you try
to ruin rituals at this solemn time,
tell them that the seeds will be
as plentiful as stars in ancient skies,
and I will suck on melon seeds
when all that’s left are teeth.
And when you dream of Goshen, think of me.

Bury me with figs and put
an olive on each eyelid,
then when I
am drowsy old in humus with the bones
out of the deep rich soil will grow
a garden full of melons, olives, cucumbers,
and one good day
our grandchildren will sit beneath
the fig tree, scooping cool
and juicy melons,
enjoying cucumbers for you, and me.


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