Bubbe Madge

I’ve decided I should get
More in touch with my roots
To visit with my ancestors
In wild days of youth

And capture some of that good old
Inherited black magic
Digging through the boxes that are
Lying in my attic

Perhaps it was delirium
Maybe the mothball smell
But soon standing before me there
My Bubbe Madge herself

No waxing sentimental, no
From that she did refrain
And did what Jewish grandmas do
She started to complain

She asked if I was married yet
She asked me what he did
She asked me whether I had wed
A goyem or a yid

She asked me why it was I wore
Those short skirts like a shiksa
She asked me was I planning to
Get my son Bar Mitzvahed

She talked about her daughters and
She told me that truth
Was that she never really liked
Our poor old Aunt Ruth

She talked about her death and how
They thought it was a schtick
How her tombstone should really say
“I told you I was sick!”

And as she complained on and on
My vision became waves
And right before my very eyes
My Bubbe seemed to fade

And with relief I thought about
What I had heard and seen
And thankfully soon realized that
It had been a bad dream

Until I smelled a distinct smell
I sniffed until I found
A great big pan of kugel there
Upon my looking down

I saw the note she left and knew
My dream was much too real
It read, “Darling you look like you
Could use a decent meal.”


64 thoughts on “Bubbe Madge

  1. Hysterical! And wonderful writing. I always like the way you put in so much story in such little space. The rhyming was fun and done so well…you really have a knack for this!

  2. Wow. That sounds so much like my aunt. I won’t ask how she’s doing, becuase I know that it will be all misery for her! lol So, when I do see her, it’s ‘Hi, Aunty’. πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve never met or experienced a real Jewish matriarch and I feel like I’ve really missed something in my life … for NO ONE has ever said I looked like I could use a decent meal πŸ˜‰

    • You know, the women in my family who are close to me, really aren’t like this. I think there is some kind of inherent understanding of a Jewish matriarch anyway, whether you are Jewish or not! Anyway, if you really want a Jewish matriarch, I’d be glad to send one your way!

  4. You do it with style Marissa! Wonderful and a highly enjoyable read. I find Jewish culture so similar to Indian culture in all these ways. Aunts down here are pretty much… no exactly the same! Thank you for sharing this! πŸ™‚

  5. What a riot this one is…I can just see her advancing and you backing further and further into the corner with a great look of disbelief and fear as she questions you about your husband! You really brought this one to life well, Marissa! Too funny.

    • Fortunately both n.y.and l.a. have strong enough Jewish communities that we are in no fear of running out of delis. L.A. bagels however, are no match for N.Y. if that’s any consolation!

  6. Ah, you Bubbe knows, Marissa. Eat, eat, you too thin. My great grandmother used to say that to me, with thin coming out ‘tin,’ and oh my, I was not, no this husky Polish boy, was not thin.

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