June 27, 2017 – Richard Chess
I was introduced to this poet and this book during my undergrad program at the home of one of my professors. He was quite an interesting man and very willing to engage with all of us. I enjoy his book because it focuses on Jewish subject matter. At the time he directed the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of North Carolina.
Day 26: Chair in the Desert by Richard Chess
A woman who lost her son to the Land
Writes letters daily to the Land.
With No Return Address. She lives
At No Return Address where she waits
For the Land to return her son.
Her letters reach the Land
Of Dead Letter and lie in a box
With letters from other mothers
Of No Return Address. when the box is full,
The letters are burned to empty the box
For new letters. Even if the Land could write,
What would it write to the woman who lost her son?
So many mothers have lost children to the Land.
The Land attends to children
Who find their way home. For the children
Of the Diaspora, it has no time.
The Diaspora must care for them, protect them
From the Land that has taken in
The children of so many women
Who devote their lives to composing
Letter to which they receive no reply.