Monday, April 18, 2011


חול המועד פסח

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

Because they survived the pogroms
and felt flung stones, heard curses...

Because Martin Luther hated,
inspiring much Nazi doctrine...

I wish to be a Jew.

Because the subtle words I've loved
were wrought in dark Ashkenazi rooms,
where souls deeper than my fathoming
touched mine over candled time...

Because Mahler knows me more than angels
weeping blood on a mystery of 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 unheard voices, candles
in my eyes from uncanny 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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