The Crumbs of Shabboses Past

This is just to say how much I miss
the tumult of a Shabbos day
and a table full of guests –
pretty platters at the center,
extra place settings at the ends,
stories of the week gone by
sharing whatever space remains
with our laughter over the old tales
we’ve already told so many times
we’ve softened them at the edges.

I also long for all of this –
the warm hello,
the chorus of amens,
the piece of cake they take for the road,
the warm goodbye,
the checking they’ve left nothing behind,
the let’s-do-this-again-soons,
even the poignant click of the lock on the door
before I head to the sink
to ask the dishes:
Wasn’t that nice?
Wasn’t that fun?

But now, five corona months in,
all I’m left at the sink with is
a towel in one hand
and in the other,
regret for having swept so well
beneath the table when they,
the last of our guests,
went home in early March.
It would have been better, I think,
if I had left a few of their crumbs behind
just to help them find their way back,
lest they forget
after this plague
has gone.