The Ramingo’s Porch – “Eating Bitter Herbs” by Ethan Goffman

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Eating Bitter Herbs

I used to slather horseradish on top of my matzo
as thick as possible
At our annual Passover dinner
the last remnant of a Judaism my parents had left far behind
and I have abandoned altogether

Once in a great while
I receive a message from an old friend or enemy
I have abandoned altogether
or who has abandoned me
asking for reconciliation

I always tell them no
I am a bitter man
the past is dead

Why reawaken
feelings long gone

Jesus might forgive
but I do not.

I love horseradish
slathered thick and zesty
a million little stings dancing on my tongue
tingles of life

The sting of betrayal
is far more bitter


Ethan Goffman’s poems have appeared in BlazeVox, Mad Swirl, Madness Muse, and Setu. As a journalist, he has extensive publications on environmental and transit issues. He currently writes for Mobility Lab and teaches at Montgomery College.

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