First, wait for the darkest night,
and look up. Let go of the need
to find pattern and meaning in anything,
and just when you start to pride yourself
on your ability to love black chaos,
the image of a dipper will appear.
This will be the ladle that your mother used
to dole out steaming bowls of Sabbath
soup, celery floating like a life raft
in a lustrous yellow ocean.
That ladle, worn and bent
and dulled by the sacrifice
of so much more than chickens,
is up there in the heavens,
like your mother, still
offering the sustenance you need.
Think of the last drop suspended
on the lip of that spoon, then falling
in slow motion the way Sabbath
slows the motion of the week.
Fix that last drop
as a memory of your mother”s
long trek from Russia
with nothing but hope
and a recipe for chicken soup.
That drop is the North Star,
the same star that pulsed
above her little shtetl bed
like the heart of a vital dream.
In her honor, make a wish.
Sandy Supowit is a Michigan educator, whose collection of poems, “Halves of Necessity,” was published in 1999 by Plain View Press