For the Old Testament which I lied upon and spent the rest
of that year in Hell.
For paintings of Moses white against volcanic ash!
For Isaac who me wonder and Jacob who made me wonder; together we went to Temple where I refused to learn Hebrew and the teacher called me retarded.
For Rabbi Padol, who smoked in the Tabernacle and made the girls giggle as dust settled on the Torah, which I kissed and sneezed, and kissed and sneezed, until my Bar Mitzvah, (that ceremony in English) and later received hats and a checking account.
That Passover Sunday the dogwood was in bloom and I found
a litter of dead puppies in the front yard.
I pitched a tee-pee over the corpses and said Adonoi three times.
That year I thought of sacrifice and God’s ruthless lust for proof!
I thought of the Lamb: how he bellows, “Look what I did for you!” extending his bloody palms.
(c) Rob Goldstein, poem July 1986, image June 2017