Thursday, April 1, 2010


חול המועד פסח

Because of the Diaspora,
when weary families trudged
and wept and laughed
and found strength together...

Because they thrived amid pogroms,
spittle, flung stones, and curses...

Because Martin Luther hated,
inspiring Nazi doctrine...

I wish to be a Jew.

Because Persians and the Arabs,
bitter, apoplectic, envious,
dream of final death to Israel...

Because I grew up in a town
that burned with paranoiac fever,
that looked askance at the Feinbergs,
who were the only ones...

I wish to be a Jew.

Because the subtle words I love
were wrought in Ashkenazi rooms,
where souls too deep for me to fathom
touched mine over candled time...

Because Mahler knows me more than
angels weeping blood on crosses...

I wish to be a Jew.

Because of someone dear to me,
who graced me with an ancient smile,
whose name is fearless, making her
the tempered sister of Europa...

I wish to be a Jew.

* * *

This early April night falls cool
and dark on arid gentile land. I am
alone, but thought brings festival,
imagination voices, candles from my wishing.

I am content in my dispersal, breaking
off a piece of matzo, pouring this glass
of laughing wine, reclining with a sigh.

So let me, this one night,
pass over and be a Jew.

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