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Life, the Alewife.

UD‘s holiday thoughts as she passes herons, geese, and wild turkeys on a foggy morning in Cambridge:

  1. Everyone struggles. The only real thing to be said about that is: compassion.
  2. Why did David and Eve Kosofsky’s older sister abandon the family? UD puzzles over this one routinely, but especially at holiday gatherings. David had his theories; Eve wrote about it. The elder Kosofskys made various efforts at contact but were always rebuffed. Now that all those she abandoned are dead, it’s a different sort of story, sealed in permanence, but still a mystery. The best UD can do after all these years and all this thought is: See #1. Compassion dictates that you stop thinking about the cruelty of it and think rather of the fragility that would need to run that far away to achieve (what she seems to have achieved) a reasonably successful life.

On to the train back to DC.


All Contact Cut Off Forever

The only one left is the one who left

Removing herself from her family in

A cruel and puzzling theft.

Fifty years on we gather to mark

Her mother’s dearth. 

Her mother’s death.

In everyone’s mind is that theft — dark

Inexcusable, inexplicable.

The denial of yourself, your children,

From all the people who love you.  Unthinkable.


In spite of her hard pure withdrawal

Her decades-long discipline

I scan the Senior Center Meeting Hall

For a seventyish woman in black.

Hiding again – no one can say why – 

In the seating at the back of the back.

Margaret Soltan, December 26, 2023 8:55AM
Posted in: poem, snapshots from cambridge

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