To switch off the lamp
And we light the candle to greet
The eve of a new day.
I hold my hand before my eyes
My fingers are bars of a cage
Restraining whirling reds and yellows.
Behind my fingers, I am calm
This long dark day is over.
Another one begins.
Maybe longer, more deadly -
Forest fires lapping up the West.
Maybe crueler - depression on the heels
Of months spent cowering at home
Or gasping for breath, dying.
But maybe also better - a day
Filled with hope and possibility.
Eschewing dread, we wish for good
And quench the candle in sweet juice.
My daughter reaches for the light
Switch. The glare of the bulb interrupts
The somber hiss of juice on flame.
We scramble to the living room
To watch the president elect speak.
© Jessica Kirzane
President-elect Joe Biden seeks to unite nation with victory speech
Jessica is an assistant instructional professor of Yiddish at the University of Chicago and a Yiddish-English literary translator. I am the translator of Miriam Karpilove's Diary of a Lonely Girl, or the Battle against Free Love (Syracuse University Press, 2020). Twitter: @Jessica Kirzane; website: jessicakirzane.com