Lara Gerstein




The Umbrella




(Mother, father, uncle, aunt, cousin)

Wrapped a piece of blue thread

(From a spool, old dress, blanket)
Around and around an umbrella spoke
And the black fabric that had slipped away.


Somebody ‘s child

(Daughter, nephew, step-sister),
Carried this feeble armor to school

And then

(Ashamed of the handiwork?)

Left it in my classroom.


On this rainy Wednesday evening

I am an imposter

(Walking from school to the subway)

Protected by an embrace intended
For somebody's child.