My mother’s name

resides curbside

somewhere between the streets 

of 1960s Tel Aviv. 


Its childhood coo 

a sweet sound, 

its short legs swinging

playful above Rematachayal sidewalks, 

perched on Aba’s porch chair

pulled closed to the street

to watch the children play 

and wave to neighbors 

strolling from Shul to Shabbat




My mother’s name, 

created and cultivated 

in the Moledet

its singsong vowels 

formed first on my Savta’s mouth, 

kissed into my mother’s forehead, 

indenting her third eye with a namesake


an outward view of her homestead




My mother’s name

was and is

in childhood prayers

and a family of four sisters, 

in the hallways of a neighborhood grade school 

and between windows of a neighbor’s lost love. 


Her name is in the Yom Kippur War

and her Ima’s orange peel candies.

Her name is in evenings dancing

and hair rollers shared with her sisters,

and on a bus with Yochanan across the aisle

he, a silent soldier, 

she, a collection of stories 

chanted in high pitch memories. 


My mother’s name

is preserved in a promise 

of her homecoming

oh joy, oh peace, 

oh Ednale

return to the Motherland, 

return to your mother tongue 

where your name 

is uttered so purely, 

this, a pledge 

to retrace your steps 

and gather the consonants of your name

you left behind.