Zayde
You used to call me
Shayna maidele, your pretty one
As you bounced me on your knee.
Oh, your grey beard scared me so!

Zayde
Did you know I looked
In your dresser drawer
and found the cherry drops.
They were for me, weren’t they?

Zayde
I can still feel
Your strong arms
Gathering me to your heart
I thought you’d always be here.

But one night, Mother told me
that some angels came for you
and you flew away
But I didn’t believe her.

Zayde
I really tried to believe the rabbi’s answers
To my questions
About heaven and angels…

But Zayde,
He said we couldn’t be certain
If either was real
I didn’t believe him.
His uncertainty scared me so.

I set to reading books
About art and life and death
Then I read about Messiah—
And put the Book down.

Zayde
You never said a word about him
—but I read in the Book
how he came to live and die
and take my questions with him.

So one day I took a step toward Life
And as I approached Messiah
I felt strong arms around me
Taking away my fear.

Zayde
You were so proud
Of all your children
You were so proud of me
Would you be proud of me now?

Zayde
someday I will see him,
as he really is,
and for this hope
I am fixed forever
—an angel upon his shoulder.