220px-Blue_vacuum_cleaner.svgLucinda, This Morning


Cleaning our house,

She stopped the vacuum cleaner

Turned it off

she doesn’t usually turn off

the vacuum cleaner

her white noise

my guess is Lucinda

sleeps with her vacuum cleaner nearby

just in case

this morning she turned

It off. Hava

she said. I am usually

unnamed. I knew it was

important. Hava

she repeated with a Lucinda

insistence. I hated

my fourth husband

and now he’s dead she said.

Last week I visited a clairvoyant

she saw him floating

up there she heard him say

Forgive Me Lucinda.

He was an abusive jerk.

Never I shouted. He can

keep floating wherever he is

for the rest of his death.

Eternity, she said.

And you know what else

Lucinda added, moving toward

her vacuum cleaner to let me know

her story was almost finished.

The clairvoyant agreed with me.

What a shmuck,

She said.


Esther Cohen is a contributing writer to Jewish Currents and works with us as arts and public events consultant. Her books include Book Doctor, a novel, and Unseen America: Photos and Stories by Workers, among others.