essays kaddish in two-part harmony

yahrtzeit for galina

your quizzical smile
eyes cocked, waiting
you say nothing, save
and they pour out their secrets
and you —
you collect them
and you do them justice

but that’s just our business—
that’s just our business

your fingertips
arranging their tales for the ages
their children
will read you
they’ll wish they could find you
to thank you —
to thank you for recording their sages

but that’s just our business—
that’s just our business

translator, researcher, great mother, and wife
editor, collaborator,enchantress all right
woman of knowledge, and kindness, and grace —
dreamer and schemer and puppy’s embrace
stories of shamans and witches and monks
magical practitioners, academic adjuncts
white magic, black magic, russian  practitioners
big politicians and orthodox parishioners
curious about everything
from weirdness to wondrous,
that others think new age or scary or useless
from goddess to godless,
from fetish to gayness

but that’s just our business —
that’s just our business




By mira

Mira Z. Amiras is Professor of Comparative Religious Studies and founder of the Middle East Studies Program at San Jose State University. She is past-president of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, and has served on the Executive Council of the American Anthropological Association. She is co-founder, with Ovid Jacob, of Beit Malkhut, a study group in Jewish sacred text. She's most attached to the creatures of her body and her household — first and foremost, her kids, of course: Michael and Rayna — and then the other folks large and small of various species, including Roshi and Vlad, a whole lot of hummingbirds, the old parrot who lives next door, and a beautiful garden that does what it will.

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