Maia Evrona: "Tu B'Shevat"




Because in the land of milk and honey 

the almond trees bloom in January,

“The New Year for Trees,” Tu B’Shevat,

falls in the dead of winter for us. 


So we feast on dried dates and raisins, 

oranges and preserved citrons, 

any fruit that can be bought or saved

for this holiday completely out of season.


Though when the cold is most bitter 

and the days no longer than in November

the only revelation is the almond:


hard and brown, but richer

when ground down in the mouth

like two thousand European winters.


Maia Evrona's work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, New South and elsewhere. In addition, her translations of the Yiddish-language poet Abraham Sutzkever were recently awarded a 2016 Translation Fellowship from the NEA and have appeared in Poetry.