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Women’s Wisdom

Black Swans
By Mrs. Hinde Gordon

One day we went to the zoo
Akiva and I,
On a warm and sunny day.

As we walked along
We stared in wonder
At the exquisite birds
Dressed in unbelievable splashes of color.
We watched the solemn penguins
Dressed in formal evening clothes
Frolicking by the side of their pool.

As we walked
We thought of you, Lala
How you would have enjoyed such wonders
How you would have marveled at such beauty.
We thought of you
And, as always, you were with us.
“How excited she would have been”
We said to each other
“She would have had such pleasure”.

As we continued to walk and look
You were with us
My mother – our mother.

And, then, we stopped short and looked and looked
And saw them.
Black swans
Orange beaks
Proud and elegant
Swimming
Flying
Beautiful in the sunlight.
“How she would have loved them”
We said to each other.

Black swans in Yerushalyim
So very different from the white ones in Connecticut.
How you loved to feed them – your white elegant “swannies”
We would stop the car so you could get out
With a handful of bread and a smile.

When you grew older
You couldn’t get out of the car
So you watched and loved from the window.

What did you think about them?
Did you think they were just beautiful creatures of nature?
Did you know that they are Hashem’s creations
His gifts to us to give us pleasure in this world
To Akiva and me
To you
To all His children?
Did you know this as we do?

I’m sorry, Lala, I didn’t ask
And now I can’t ask
Because you are there
And we are here
You in that world
And we in this
But when we walk and see Hashem’s beauty
You will always walk with us.

 

Hinde Gordon, Sorotzkin 21A/3, Yerushalayim, Israel, 02-5378-468, email: akivhind@gmail.com