Somehow, for one more Seder, I was able
To crowd in everyone around the table:
Our yearly miracle. Now I stand
Holding the box of matches in my hand,
About to light the candles. But, no, wait.
Something is not right, and I hesitate
To strike a flame and to pronounce the blessing.
Something is wrong. There must be something missing.
What is it I subconsciously detect?
I run my mind over the list I've checked
a hundred times or more since I got up:
Matzoh, the Seder plate, Elijah's cup,
Salt water, wine, eggs, greens, gefilte fish,
Haggadahs, scallions, liver and a dish
of horseradish, charoseth, juice for children . . .
Children. My glance shifts to them. It is then
I understand what's missing. It's the streaks
Of bright red lipstick on the children's cheeks.