Summer 2009

Table of Contents - Vol. V, No. 2


Poetry    Essays    Translations    Fiction   

Yermiyahu Ahron Taub


Alternative Yuletide

No, this isn’t what you think.
This won’t be a poem for Jews for Jesus.

There won’t be a dilution of symbols here,
nor a call to theological potpourri.

No, this won’t be a Irving Berlin-ish revelrie,
sparkling in sleigh bells and whiteness.

Instead, there will be gratitude for the day off,
for the streets so desolate, for the stores sealed,

There will be relief in freedom from obligation and the search for objects.
There will be contentment in apart-ness, in not looking in from the outside.

We will meet beneath the cinema’s neon rimmed crystal chandelier,
consider the various offerings, without hurry, and despite the queues, without stress.

Afterwards, we will trek downtown, no matter the weather,
where avenues narrow to alleys, where restaurant windows perspire in beckoning.

There we will discuss what we’ve seen,
savor the vigorous fare, envisioned across oceans, revised here.

We will toast this plenty---the fellowship,
the nourishment, the possibilities for renewal,

this mild delight, this muted reverence,
this holiday.



Cherish this banality, my love---
the day unfurling into splendor.
Coffee drifts from below into our reading lairs;
a lawn mower hums in the distance,
earth and words intoxicating us from dream.
Your footsteps patter down the corridor;
your night clothes gleam where the sun does not pierce,
a vision so fleeting yet glimpsed these countless times.
Today I won’t rise to catch it.
I’ll know you’re there simply by the measure of my reverie,
carved in calm,
unmoved by the neighbor dog’s yapping.
The weekend section spreads amply around the dining room table,
marked by circles of varying urgency.
Perhaps we will forage for treasure abandoned;
perhaps we will sample the fruit of vineyards coaxed into perfection.
Before we go to wherever we go,
I want to lift your hair, nuzzle your nape,
whisper my tender grateful nothings:
whatever these hours shall hold,
this is good, this is plenty.


© Yermiyahu Ahron Taub



Poetry    Essays    Translations    Fiction   

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