Poetry from Esther Altshul Helfgott.
I spent a good part of today searching for page numbers for footnotes in an essay I’m finishing up. The writing’s finished but my citations aren’t. No one’s fault but my own. Did I really think I would remember the page number to footnote 19 or to footnote 23 or to footnote 33? Nonetheless, good things came from my search, not the least of which is an answer to the question “Why write biography?”
Edith Buxbaum: she also liked to cook.
I found Dr. Remick’s name in a Little School folder. What was it doing there? It turns out that at the same time Dr. Remick was an affirmative action officer and attended that Women’s Studies meeting, she was the parent of a Little School pupil when it was in the Bellevue facility.
Biographical and autobiographical writing entwine. Why did I choose to write about a woman I never met and had no ties to—except for my interest in Jewish women’s history and the field of Psychoanalysis? Immediately the writer’s self is injected into the story. Sometimes Dr. Buxbaum turns up in my dreams, and in the morning I have to sort out the dream so it won’t get mixed up with biography.
My love for you continues to this day.
With our photographs and history I stay.
Writing stories of our life together
keeps me brave: Alive, and feeling better.