Creation 2020

by Rivka Nomberg

  1. The baby watches and learns
  2. This is a cooking mama
  3. This is a cooker
  4. She is going to whisk and klop and scrape.
  5. I am on her hot hip, belted in
  6. by her elbow and wrist,
  7. and with that other hand
  8. she is stirring, turning the metal bowl,
  9. igniting sparks, hammering.
  10. She probably made me that way, too,
  11. I realize, created
  12. the whole world with one arm,
  13. squinting and puffing,
  14. kneading and punching,
  15. tasting the ingredients, 
  16. proofing the future.

This is a divine mama

  1. This is a diviner
  2. She is conjuring up my babyhood,
  3. communing with the dead, 
  4. don’t forget, don’t forget.
  5. She’s squeezing closed her grey eyes
  6. light pauses
  7. then she opens them
  8. and a whole universe shoots out
  9. with a swat and a splatter
  10. of potato flour cracked eggs thin oil
  11. and she licks it
  12. off my baby eyelashes and my fat palms
  1. This is a good baby
  2. This is good
  3. And I am formed, fused
  4. dusted, born
  5. heaved into a growing space,
  6. cradled in star nurseries;
  7. my flying mama, zipping through
  8. a universe of baking powder and raisins
  9. and a handful of nuts,
  10. shaking evenly and spreading gently
  11. onto the rolled-out log of milky way,
  12. clasping the hand of the
  13. Big Dipper, that old woman,
  14. scooping out my name,
  15. sprinkling it like cinnamon,
  16. those fragrant gratings,
  17. all over the yeast dough
  18. of my soft belly, tickling
  19. until the suns rise above her shoulders,
  20. washing me in moonlight,
  21. hitching me onto her radiant muscled arm,
  22. tucking the tea cake into her
  23. celestial oven,
  24. spinning me like
  25. all the other pulsars,
  26. starting time, keeping time,
  27. until she can see it is expanding,
  28. she sees the ancient wisdom crackling
  29. across the expertly folded surface
  30. of delicious space-time,
  31. and then she will feed it to me,
  32. one pinch, one word,
  33. one tomorrow
  34. at a time.


Rivka Nomberg comes from a family of physicians, Talmudic scholars, Yiddish writers, and woodworkers.  Her interests include gardening, medicine, and raising children.  Her poetry has been published in the Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh.  She lives in Arizona.