An open letter to my parents

An open letter to my parents

Thank you

Mira Rosenkotz

where can I find words that will tell you that

daffodils in the yard are wet hair and clean outfits

pictures before services

picture that

maybe the words are in between

our fingers as we braid the strings on our tallit

or on the tip of the tongues of the couple

that whisper with megaphones

you will find some of the words tucked into

small folded notes the size of my nine

year old hand

the size of my thirteen year old hand

the size of my nineteen

twenty year old hand

as I unwrap them to find your love written against

a white background waiting for me to find it

to absorb it

into my chest and through my eyes

find the words in my eyes

and your eyes

and your eyes

in our eyes

they are the same

in the black and white photo that hangs on the stairs

we are still those people

those people made us

who we are today

where can I find the words to tell you

what will always smell like home

was made so long ago

I didn't know scents would make me cry

until the art building at school

smelled like sawdust

and the pavement in the morning

smelled like rain

when Challah filled the Eliot House

if I could pick the smells

that were home to me

I would pick those three

again and again and again

pick me again and again and again

when you look up into the stars

I'll chose you

silhouetted against the constellations

paper lanterns in hand

as we watch moments we can't hold

slip away from us up towards the moon

I want to find the words to say

I hold you in everything that I do

the way I speak to people

comes from mornings in between you snuggled in bed

it comes from jump rope times tables and pencils practicing perfect print

and it comes from hands pressed against earmuffs

leaving round imprints on the sides of my face

for the moments when I could not hear you at all

were the ones when I learned the most

silences in folding chairs in the Fil-Am Hall

the floorboards smiled at me and told me

no matter where I go

or who I choose to be

I will forever and always have people

who will hold me and treat me as their own

people who will know what kugel is and how the Debbie Friedman version goes

silences in the downstairs of the Kitsap Regional Library

pressed between couch cushions and characters

the pages winked at me and reminded me

books are the best cure for loneliness

and it's okay to get lost

if you smell the pages

it will be easier to find your way out

when you're in a bookstore you don't recognize

books are a good place to find the words to say

the way I walk through the world

comes from sticky seatbelts in the back of a white Volkswagen

and the popped top

it comes from New Brooklyn hills on bike and the grass at BPA

was always a little bit wet

early morning on Saturdays

when the concrete pad came alive

with people who greeted us as if we were something special

because you held our hands

I want to find the words to tell you

because of game night

and late night


I know it's okay to read the directions or the recipe

nobody is born already knowing them

let other players pick what color they want to be first

except every once in awhile you should pick first

it's okay to go first

and it's okay to go to bed


and not feel bad because it's important

sometimes to get what you want

and need

thank you for needing us

into your bread and

your palms as you held us

a few inches from the freshly turned dirt

teaching us

different seeds have different depths to plant them at

it's okay if they don't come up right away

water them and wait

read to them if you'd like

because we've tried it and we know

sometimes that helps

and please

when august comes

remind me

no two summer squash are the same

the stems are spikey

so you should bring a kitchen towel with you to wrap them in or

just be careful

because sometimes things hurt you on accident

it's important that you try to forgive them

in order to forget

don't forget

to turn the burner off when you're done

and always make a little extra

because leftovers are almost as good as fresh ingredients

I want to find the words to say

thank you

to say thank you endlessly

for your never ending warmth and wisdom

your unwavering confidence in us

your unparalleled and immense love

and most importantly

through imperfections and impulses

impatience, improv, and improvements,

thank you for making sure that we are part of the few

who know how to

sew a button.

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