Between Two Walls

New Poetry Book out: The Physics of Wrinkle Formation


Please check the link here for information on my new poetry collection The Physics of Wrinkle Formation.

Here are some poems from the collection:


The sex life of the single cell
was your early passion.

Electron microscopes made possible
a peek into nuclear preparation.

Even before merging, the tips
of tertrahymena become more blunt.
A short hour after conjugation,
deeper changes start. Attached
in pairs, cytoplasmic channels open,
the micronucleus begins to lengthen.
Lengthening fifty times its original size,
it curls around the nucleus as we used to,
tired after love.

This organelle both grows and becomes
less dense at the same time. Its secret lies
buried in the microtubules you photographed.
They tell part of the story.

The thinning air in our bedroom
completes the picture.

Like the gutted mouth of a eukaryote,
these poems tumble into an elegant
and elongated emptiness.


Here, where we learned, prayed,
fought, made love, cried, cooked,
cleaned, read, wrote, joked, hosted
guests, tickled grandkids, listened
to friends pour out heavy secrets—

you are coming home to die.
House, are you ready?

May each word of Torah you spoke
at the table cushion your bed,
smooth those rough plastic waves
supposedly good for aerating wounds;
may each man, woman and child
who found wise counsel here
hold your hand as you travel
across the thorny land of new pain,
old blasts multiplying, pressing
beyond the marrow.

May each doorway graced with a mezuzah
protect you and guide your eyes away
from the darkness of grief toward
the light that waits and already
surrounds you.

May your beautiful orchids
adorning every room blend
into a passageway of purple petals
and stately stamens to witness
the journey forth.

And may the endless Shabbat
coming your way as certain
as woodpeckers, doves, jays
and cardinals outside the window
shield me as well,

for loneliness looms large ahead.


How to find words
of gratitude for your life
unfurling from of my aching soul?

The answer came from
a tiny Twinkle Orchid
blooming the day you died.
You had watered its lanky leaves
for seven years, long before
your spleen ballooned
to triplets,

long before clinical drugs
bought us a few extra years,
before leukemia
took over, blasts bursting bones
like a prisoner breaking free.

For you no relief, only the slow
descent into the haze of pain
and laudanum
as breath slowed, heart raced.

I searched the knife-green forest
of potted Oncidium.
Among shy branches
a couple of taciturn buds.
I looked some more.
Finally, a single crown,
orange glistening
on winged white
helped me to pray.

2 thoughts on “New Poetry Book out: The Physics of Wrinkle Formation

  1. robert Morgan

    Dear Vera, The poems touched my heart. After loosing my wife from this horrible disease of cancer, I can understand and share the pain that you so tenderly describe The life cycle events are condensed into beautiful phrases that flow flawlessly .

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