"When we opened the door and kept it open
No one was there
or mybe someone was but we couldn't see him or hear him
and my father made the blessing
and it was as quiet as the moment
a man learns he is dying of a disease he can't pronounce
or the moment after a boy
watching the World Series swings a bat
and breaks the chandelier
in the living room.
no, that's not the way it was though
though yes it was very quiet. We couldn't hear
anything but we looked at the tall cup
reserved for Elijah on the Seder table
filled to the brim and I swear I saw
it move as if a wind very light had blown
on the wine-dark sea, which diminished
imperceptibly and that is when I heard it,
the violin in the alley, a lone violinist
playing a Russian lullaby
sadly and then my father niodded his head
and we closed the door and
no one else had heard the violin.
You see, I know that Elijah was there,
every year, but we who are in on the secret
are obliged to observe the rule
that commands us to pretend that Elijah
didn't come. It's part of the mystery.
Not a word of this to anyone else, you understand?"