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WINTER 2019-2020


Ellen Rittberg


home video:

Axl Rose’ falsetto trills,
my three children cram round 
small corridor mirror
combs, hair gel in hand
amped up versions of selves
Readying for middle school dance

cuts to:
“Get out of my room,”
oldest says to youngest
voice lower than I remember
adolescence having conferred 
a comely gawkiness.

Now grown into less amusing
but equally lovable adults
They roar with laughter
Watching video of that night
speech no longer 
so heavily-inflected
less like me now
Complete iterations
Grace notes
Attuned to life
The greater world.

always close 
but now, never harsh with each other
They do not laugh as much
worldly cares, work
Crowds out much mirth
Nor do they think 
of time’s passage
its signal moments
instead they revel in 
what they have come to see 
as love for each other
tight sheaves
healthy wheat. 

Ellen Pober Rittberg's poetry has been published in Poetrybay, Brooklyn Quarterly, Raw Arts Review, the bilingual Persian Sugar in British Tea, and others venues and a number of anthologies including the 2019 Great Weather For Media's anthology, Brownstone Anthology and Songs of Seasoned Women. A former award-winning journalist and published parenting author, her plays Sci Fi and Sabbath Elevator have been performed at festivals and Bowery Poetry Cafe.


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