My Mother the Illusionist By Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Eye-popping opening act,
her bare hands
made a pound of lox disappear
shred by shred
from the tray I had spread.
Hypnotizing, she conjured
Nothing for me.
Every yearning adept knows
the pull of emptiness,
the promise of triumph over taint.
Deep in the trance, she erased
the bagel, the cream cheese.
Fishy balm trailed
from her fingertips
while her tongue
whisked away the evidence.
Fluted papers peeled
from cornbread muffins
piled up at her plate.
Then she palmed them into her purse.
Nothing to see here,
nothing up her sleeve.

Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist, former German major, two-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, and occasional photographer. Her first full sentence was, “Look at the moon!” Her photos and poems have appeared in many anthologies and journals and have received Special Merit and Honorable Mention in Comstock Review’s Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial poetry contest. She co-hosts Fourth Sundays, a poetry series in Claremont, California. Kattywompus Press publishes her two previous chapbooks, Burrowing Song, a collection of prose poems, Eggs Satori, and, in Spring 2019, they will publish Kafka’s Cat. Kelsay Books publishes her full-length collection, The Book of Knots and their Untying. For links to work on-line, go to:
Published 5/12/19