Sunday, November 2, 2008

weekend in Brownsville

in the Brooklyn apartment the long narrow hallway
with its single bare bulb appeared dark and scary
each time I walked down it
on Sunday my uncle stood facing east
in the sun-filled kitchen doorway
wrapped in tefillin, tallis and ever-present yarmulke
prayerbook in hand, swaying as he davened his morning prayers
closing his eyes, his connection to God
a complete mystery to me

copyright 2002 Linda H. Feinberg

I wrote this poem in a workshop class several years ago. My uncle passed away recently at the age of 98. I was glad that I had a chance to visit with him this past summer. He was the last of that generation. As a child I did not understand the ritual of the morning prayers. As an adult I think it is a beautiful one even though I am not observant. For me the connection to the divine is usually through nature, art, music, poetry and sometimes through people.

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