First Rosh Hashanah

The words told me nothing
I could understand.
The melody tugged

into paths I could lose
my way on. I fingered
the deep blue

of my father’s jacket.
High on a stage a man
stood alone, floated

his song, lush and green,
into the slow
evening air.

His singing turned
to sobbing. I swiveled
from my mother’s face

to my father’s, watched
my aunt, uncle, cousins.
The cry shattered

above us. No one moved,
no one cared. They’d never
help him cry.

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