Jenni Daiches's thought-provoking, intensely humane sequence is a meditation on her Jewish inheritance. The poems move effortlessly between personal reflection and history, and are replete with simple but memorable images of hope and despair, annihilation and survival.
Sleeves rolled to the elbow,
washing strung window to window,
bread in the oven.
The smell spirals down to the courtyard below
where boys kick a football and men
at the end of the day cluster in talk and send
the girls upstairs to help their mothers
prepare the supper table.
And that night the women and the girls
stitch yellow stars on all their coats.
Rivka looks into the dark and sees
all the family a constellation in the night sky.