prayer

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