Green Hills Literary Lantern




The Block: Sutter Avenue, Brooklyn



My Grandparents’ House:    

Sabbath prayers, cold kugel,

embraces, playing in the hall

with my three close cousins.


The Chinese Laundry:

Mr. Wong has only one tooth left

in his mouth. I want to go by all the time

to see if it’s still there.


The Leather Store:

Charnofsky fills a big sack with scraps

of leather which he weighs on a floor scale.

What kind of business is that?


The Eye-Glass Store:

The optician has changed the clear glass

window to black, and etched his name, in gold,

on it. Now I can’t look in.


The Plumber:

Crazy Sherman is late with the rent.

In his back pocket he carries an iron pipe and a wrench.

Grandpa doesn’t want to ask him again.


The Candy Store:

At lunch-time, Grandma stands and sells

to the school kids. Grandpa sits and sees

that no one steals.


The Corner Bar:

A knot of men at the entrance.

A friend’s father is one of them.

Ashamed for her, I look the other way.





After 45 years in the antique business, Elaine Dillof has returned to an early love, writing.