Touch: The Journal of Healing



Williamsburg *

    by Art Heifetz

We're coming back

from Brighton Beach,

I in my black trench coat

and tweed Totes hat,

a book of poetry

tucked under my arm,

it’s Simchat Torah and

flocks of Chasids

gather around the lamp posts

like studious penguins.

Good sabbath, one says.

Joyous holiday, says another.

I nod like a Talmudic scholar

and think of musty hallways

reeking of urine and borsht

and my Tante Sarah

peering at us

through bifocals thick as

antique glass

as she undoes the locks

and lays down

the huge butcher’s knife

she keeps for self-defense

since the robbery.

Uncle Slavit is in the back room

dressed in stained pyjamas,

staring out the smudged window

at the beautiful children

lost in a fire in Galicia,

now locked in each other's arms

in a cold grey field

back in the Old Country.

© 2014  Art Heifetz

* previously published in Jewish Literary Journal

Art Heifetz has published over 100 poems in 10 countries. In 2013 he was nominated for a Pushcart and won second prize in the Reuben Rose competition in Israel.

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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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