A family recipe, a childhood memory, a Depression-era handout
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Michele Herman’s first novel, Save the Village, is forthcoming in 2022. She lives in New York City and, in a moment of madness six years ago, signed up for a month-long poetry-writing marathon. Her second poetry chapbook, Just Another Jack: The Private Lives of Nursery Rhymes, will be published next year. Here’s to moments of madness.
On a soaking-wet August day I stood under an umbrella in a Jewish cemetery in Paramus, New Jersey. Though the man we were burying hadn’t been particularly observant, the service was Orthodox, and everyone followed protocol: the other women and I huddled to the side while the men lifted the heavy casket.
But adrenaline, my old friend from early motherhood, has come back to me, and I have taken up with her. I let myself be seduced by her charms, grab her hands for a tango, even though I know her game, the way she sticks around just long enough to see me through everyone else’s crises and then splits when I really need her.