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The Bannister – Miriam Felicia Lindberg Memorial Peace Foundation

Bad Wimpfen, Germany

When I grasp
the rail rubbed smooth
over time as I climb
the stairs in the house
my grandfather built,
I spot my mischievous father
late for school
grinning gliding
his mother yelling
from the kitchen
infused with the nutty scent
of linseed oil
boiling into polish
she dabs
on the once-living tree
to which I add
my whorled fingerprints
aching for the grain
to retain the memory
of touch.

Sheryl Abbey

Sheryl Abbey was born in Bergenfield, New Jersey, to German-Jewish refugees in 1965. She studied music and architecture, and worked in historic preservation. In 1999, she moved to Israel, where learning Hebrew deepened her love of language, and inspired her to write poetry. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three children.