In Doctor Nos Garden by Henry Shukman

In Doctor Nos Garden

Henry Shukman

This book reflects on the passing of time through both personal domestic history and changes in society at large. It also explores Jewishness and the move from a religious to a secular life. Besty of all are the love poems written with tenderness and poignancy, confirming love's place at the centre of humanity. This is an engaging read for the sense of history and maturity of tone.


I prod and pull my double thread. One bath a week–did he smell? A grimy neck? An animal breath of Polish sausage and tea with blackberry jam? And what’s left of him in me, a soft-skinned man who doesn’t sit or fast or pray, who bears only the lost Yiddish scrawled on chest or shoulder? My grandfathertuts. He taps my final inch of thread, too short to tie a knot.Leave that to me, you’ve better things to do. His eyebrows are thicker than I thought, his breath fainter. His big-nailed fingers, strong as a fiddlers undo my work, dive and twist. His needle a dorsal glint in water. A quick bite: done. Thread to last a lifetime.

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