This room mocks me with its patchwork
of former lives, lived elsewhere. This table,

over-polished, follows me around the world,
demands notice, demands repairs; arrives

unbidden in packing cases in every country,
where I land, makes every place the same place.

This photo hangs on every wall of everywhere
I live. Its ghosts clamour for attention:

men heavy-bearded, women in sheitels, round-eyed
with surprise or terror, children, their hands folded,

makes every place the same place, but this antique rocker,
its carved back stiff above its empty lap, comforts me

with its to and fro, warm with the memory of the long-ago
grandmother who rocked my mother to sleep.

Wendy Klein