A Yom Kippur remembered

A Yom Kippur remembered

My father spoke of religion

With unschooled tongue

he could answer no question

from curious daughters

but he davened with ancient

passion under the tent

of his silken tallis

where he and his God

became one 


From the balcony where female

congregants sat together

I watched my stoic father cry

as he kissed the cover

of his cherished old siddur

Later when we left the shul

for the hard streets of New York

the air of Fifty Second Street

was sweetened by “Gut Yontif”

as slowly we walked


hand in hand we walked

on this holy day of fast

as my father whispered

“Shaindel, du bist mein zissen kind”

So many decades later

I still remember that taste of honey.

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