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Family Reunion

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



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