Betty Aberlin

 

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Locked in the spine of the book of my life,
saying my prayers on vertebrae bones,
just cannot enter the page of this day,
& sleepless am banished as well from the dream.

Looking down into the beautiful grave, earth -
the planes of pine coffin impossibly pure,
Yeshiva boys shovel the clods & the stones
& seed the ephemeral, unknowing clouds.

Sophia lies deep in her grave in Gethsemane,
shedding her life with her cross which I wear,
given me by the young Abbess-gone-crazy.
No one is safe in the convent today.

Lord! make a mortar of bones from my body &
spackle me into the cracks of Jerusalem!
Cement me into the gravestone of penitent
Magdalene & let me praise you & pray!

 

 

Betty Aberlin, native New Yorker, actor in musical theater, comedy revues, children's television & Kevin Smith films, published The White Page Poems, responses to George MacDonald's 1880 Diary of an Old Soul in 2008 (Zossima Press). Studied creative writing at Bennington College with Bernard Malamud and Howard Nemerov. There she was accidentally put off poetry by a comment she took literally - "Cousin Betty you will never be a poet" - not knowing her teacher was quoting Dryden's response to Jonathan Swift. So much for higher education. Currently working on a one-act play & feeding the wild birds in a small town upstate, she is grateful and honored to be included in this spiritual volume.