Friday, May 18, 2007

Wishbones

There are two wishbones on my kitchen sink, drying, crusty. I pick them up.

After three days or so, they are ready; crisp and lucky. These have been here since Passover. Thirteen days. A strange superstition to wait that amount of days, perhaps, but how strange, really, when applied to the act of placing a wish on a competition to see who gets the larger piece of a twisted chicken bone?

I brush them off. Small bits of meat fall as particulate into the sink. In a moment they are ready – ready to snap under shear. Ready to bring us luck, offer the fortune released from within with the snap. From within? From where? It matters not. I know it works and it is ready to grant my wish.

The wishbones on the kitchen sink are waiting
Cleaned, delivered
They are twice sacrificed
Brought from the holy feast
Where we were by them nourished
Now brought to the hands of my holy one
Where we will again be by them blessed.

If memory serves – and it matters not if it does; if it is fiction or fact, since, as a memory, it is as real as anything can remain – we broke a wishbone our first week together. Our first week.

For years we broke wishbones and our lives got better and better, more full, more joyous in each other’s company. With each wishbone came newness and surety our dreams would take hold, bear fruit, ripen, become sweet.

We never asked each other what our wishes were. Never. For years those wishes went silent and bright and we knew, no matter whose pull broke the bone, the wish was certain to come true.

Then one day she asked. What was my wish? How could I not say? My wish was for your wish to be granted. Whatever it was, that your wishes become real. That way, no matter who got the larger half, it was your wish that would come to be.

I saw a smile. And just slightly, I thought I saw a tear. “Please don’t do that,” she asked. I deserve dreams of my own, she told me. And, from that time on, we each made our own wishes but, in those, the other was never forgotten. We continued on as before, bone after bone. Wish after wish.

I have them in my hand, walk over to the couch where she is laying and sit at the edge near her knees, place one on the coffee table, hold up a wishbone by a single end, the thin one, hold it low.

She smiles and sits up, takes the other. A moment lapses and we pull. Pull. It snaps and for the first time I have ever seen such a thing it has broken cleanly, evenly, straight up the middle and we each are left with a full half, an equal half. We stare at them.

No wish granted? Both wishes granted? I ask her what she wished for. It must be safe; extraordinary questions are born of extraordinary events.

That your wish come true. My wish was that hers would be granted. After the many years, it seemed the night for that wish again. Equal wishes, equal halves.

No matter, I say. I have one more. There is always one more.

2 comments:

Sewa Yoleme said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Indigo Bunting said...

Love this.