7 AM at the Western Wall

7 AM at the Wall the men eddy and swirl,
wearing their prayers on their sleeves.
Angry old men with long beards
shout against the wall
as if it were a donkey
blocking the road.

7 AM at the Wall the women
rock and sway in heavy black shoes
moving their lips to silent music.
Tired old women kiss the wall
as if it were a long lost child
setting out again.

Answer us! demand the men
pounding the door to their King.

Speak to us, implore the women
whispering to their Lover
across a pillow of stone.

Yiskah (Jessica) Rosenfeld is about to begin rabbinical school. Most recently, she was program coordinator of Kol Ishah: A Celebration of Jewish Women’s Poetry, held in the San Francisco Bay Area, and her own poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.