Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

Monthly Archives: April 2019

Another synagogue shooting & another poem

How To Eat Matzoh in Mixed Company

              ~April 28, 2019


Slip it

from plastic wrap like an Easter

present, or cover it in chocolate, cracked

like an egg. Starve for it,

drink to bear it with pickled

fish.  In soup, crushed to pulp,

or spread thin with pale

cheese, lox bandage

on top, read it: braile

message about the cost of becoming free.

Hold it as tasteless example,

lesson, shield & don’t stop

shattering a synagogue’s windows with your teeth.


Eat it

standing up or lying down or leaning to the left

on this wet and yeasty night so everyone

can hear it, so everyone knows you hate

to eat it, but you eat it year after year, singing.

Dear Editor, Dear Scholar, I’m so sorry

Dear editor of the book, the person who requested I write a chapter,

I haven’t forgotten you.

I keep remembering, like a bad dream where I’m late to work,

I’m locked out of my house, my kids have been sitting on the curb for days.

I remember you.  But I don’t quite remember enough.

I can piece together the request, but none of the key words

work in the search engine where I seek to find the whole invitation, again.

Yes, I did receive your emails, your reminders that the chapter was due, due soon, due now, past due,

so busy then and I put it into a folder, whose title

I forget and I can’t even remember what precisely I was to write about.

But please know you’re not the only one.  I’ve lost my way

in numerous cities, missed appointments, deadlines, airplanes, birthdays.

I sincerely don’t wish to disappoint.  I meant it then, when I said yes.

At the time, I really thought I could do it all.


*true story.  I really am sorry.


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