Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Andrea Clark is an MFA student at Dominican University of California. Her
poetry has appeared in Cathexis Northwest Press, GlobalPoemic, Tuxedo, Dark
Moon Lilith, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Tongues Not Welcome,” was a semifinalist for the 2020 Jane Underwood Poetry Prize.

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Jew Adjacent
Andrea Clark

I married a Jew
an atheist Jew      and hide
my goyische ways with a
   pomegranate tablecloth
      and warm noodle kugel.

But still the tells—oh the tells.
Snacks before sundown on Yom Kippur,
          Sneezing at the horseradish maror,

A lean to the right.         Gifting

      all eight nights of Hanukkah

instead of trailing off after a few

      like Mark says real Jews do.

After 13 seders, I asked our host,

would she make her amazing challah

             for Passover? Oy.

I hung the mezuzah

            inside the door. But honey
                  you thought it went on the left side.

We’ve been lighting a shiva candle

            for seven days when we meant

               a 1-night yahrzeit light!
When a gentile is in charge of ritual.

Outside the covenant still I hold

      the family faith.       The form

            is my function. The rite,

                     the passage.

We treasure the traditions.

Not a Jew, a Jewish wife.

Costume seders        apples with a dab

of honey          a battery-operated menorah on the sill.