If I were a poet, I’d write about the dry-cleaning woman who was kind to my daughter and her bell-bottomed jeans that needed hemming. I’d write about the crow that waited on the sidewalk like a father forced to go shopping. But what about the man wanting a dollar for a coffee but how does anyone buy a coffee for a dollar in a town with eight-dollar donuts? If I were a poet, I’d stretch the word conflict to spill over the page and I’d rhyme words and phrases like antisemitism and no place for them. This morning, after the hemming, the patient crow, and the coffee incident, two freshly laundered Mormon boys in skinny black ties asked if I had time for a story. I said no thank you I’m Jewish. What I didn’t say was that today, on Irving Street, I am more Jewish than I’ve ever been, and my grandmother didn’t escape the Holocaust with my father, his baby brother, and diamonds in the sole of her shoe for all the who-said-whats. But maybe that’s exactly why she did. Because someday she’d have a granddaughter named in her memory who would still feel the hatred of Jews in the words people toss around without an eight-dollar morsel of understanding. If I were a poet, I’d fill a page with commas to look like tears, make a million copies, and hand them to slogan-lovers and say here, burn this instead.
There is a bunny in the dog park. And it’s not a small, brown, outdoorsy bunny. This one is large, black and white, and fluffy. I first became aware of it when the friendly man with the Husky was running after his dog, screaming something in Russian. … [Continue reading] about Down the Rabbit Hole
Someone has released a fleet of self-driving cars in my neighborhood. Not a human in sight. This morning on the way to work, a white one was stuck. Two lanes needed to merge, and in the right lane, the driverless car just sat there. All the boring … [Continue reading] about Who Cares That Robots Don’t Love Us Back
The swim club was abuzz. “There’s a whale out there,” a flushed-face woman announced as I dumped my bag on the locker room floor. No, she hadn’t seen it, but everyone was talking about it. “Someone said it’s just past the opening,” she said, as I … [Continue reading] about The Joy and the Whale
Cup of Jo, January 18, 2023 My father’s hands were tan with dark blue veins. His left hand was darker than his right, from years of smoking a cigar out the window of his 1965 Mustang. During synagogue services, we often played a game where … [Continue reading] about My Father’s Changing Hands