Honey and Home
by Sarah Shapiro

The real reason I build a Succah every year       and yes I know 
it’s a mitzvah to dwell: dad sleeps under the schach the first nights
barring a late-year heavy snow or icy downpour      invite tens 
to each meal       and I know how to mimic Bubbi’s platters: 
the newest vegetables, recipes to land in Chicago markets
patchke with stuffed cabbage for cold late-year dinners
gazpacho for early-year summer swelters, order friend on friend 
of spiced honey cake, clean, paint my lips sangria to laugh 
at bad jokes     Succot is my favorite holiday 

I was born to tongue excuses to dwell
in the Succah: slurp Early Grey, nibble raisin round challah 
honey everything, in the pause between lunch clean-up 

and dinner prep; sit alone at this mile twenty-two, sun smearing 
through the obligatory star-gaps
                                       in the evergreen schach 
damp pine-laced comfort drying, commuters, cardinals, swallows 
and sparrows the weekday soundtrack. My body is predictably

full, a little wilted, tipsy. In this pause, the succah is my home: 
built by my hands, roofed by rituals and walled by this time that is my own.


Sarah Shapiro’s chapbooks the bullshit cosmos (ignitionpress 2019) and being called normal (tall-lighthouse press 2021) work to bridge the gap between those who struggle to read and those who read with ease. She can be found on Twitter at @shapi20s or www.sarahashapiro.com