One Prayer

One Prayer

Many thanks to Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine for publishing the following poem:

One Prayer

                                                              —Jerusalem 5740

I wait my turn, the western wall

  white shawls muffling

    gray beards mumbling


I pen my prayer on a store receipt

  press it tight tween ancient stones

    tight among a hundred crumpled cries


Some rabbi grabs my elbow

  drags me to a cave

     straps my arm in leather


He chants a sacred melody 

  Adonai Elohanu, Adoni Echad

   one, we are one—everyone, everywhere


The crowd with its long tradition

  me in this thin tefillin

    this rabbi with his open hand


That early-morning Arab sipping tea

  demanding twenty shekels

    the pleasure of his plea


We are all echad—one prayer

  one crescent, one star, one sphere


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