Note to the reader: Before I became a confirmed webaholic, I was an unrepentant IRCaddict. This poem was written in September, 1994. Rachel, her husband, and son are friends I met through IRC. They live in Portland OR, and I in Vancouver, BC. I wrote the poem shortly after our first "real life" meeting.

I take the candlesticks from the mantlepiece
Gently rub to uncover the warm brass glow
polish scent mingling with challah baking and kugel cooling
taking me back to the special warmth of my Bobah's kitchen
As they begin to shine I see them on her table
Her loving arms guiding me as I put them in place

Oh, they will be here soon ... I must put memories aside
I sing in the shower all those songs from long ago
Dressing, I wonder where are the candles
oh yes, there they are
The doorbell rings ... they're here at last

Such beautiful voices, such a mellow guitar
Rachel sets the table while I "throw" the knaidlach into the soup
I smile to myself
Mother, you never did tell me what distance I should throw them from

We light the candles and sing the prayer
The room takes on that special glow
We each sip from the cup of sweet kiddush wine -
A new tradition they have brought me:
Four hands pull on the challah as we break bread together -
Bobah's candlesticks on my table
Yes, this is Shabbat shalom

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Revised October 19, 1997
Copyright © 1994 Hilary Ostrov