My son, the one in the white shirt, long beard
fedora, black coat, drives past the hospital
in his French Renault assembled by anti-semitic
workers in Turkey. He calls the hospital “House
of Healing”. It is a religious institution; in the lobby
long-sleeved receptionists munch slices of apples
and clementines grown by some Muslims in Jordan
in this “Shmitta” year.
While washing his hands reciting a blessing to the
creator, his smartphone rings. It is his brother from
Ireland – the one who lives with his Catholic girl friend
and who travels each year to Yelm in Washington State
to hear the words of Ramtha who ascended to immortality
3000 years ago and who preaches that God is inside
every one of us.
They are the best of friends, these two boys, now grown
men. The one from Ireland will come after Christmas to
visit his nephew, named Menachem after the Lubavicher
Rebbe. They will prepare a barbeque together with
kosher chicken slaughtered ritually. My daughter, now in
the army will come from her kibbutz to join them. her
grandfather was a famous rabbi in Poland too. She only
eats chicken, not red meat.
My other son who for twenty years was a vegan, but now
eats anything as long as it’s not cooked in wine will miss
his AA meeting to be with the family. He will take a photo
of all of us smiling, arms around each other, which I will
hang in my office to remind me how much I love them all.
This poem I will print in a book and give a copy to each
of them which they will bury in bottom drawers, dusty
bookshelves, leave in the boots of their cars.
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© Johnmichael Simon