Mizmor L'David Anthology 

 


Poetica Magazine, Contemporary Jewish Writing


Donald Mender started writing poetry at the age of 16. He is now 71, and recently he has plumbed modern personal resonances with ancient Jewish experience. The resulting poems have attempted to make contact with tensions between very old and relatively new sensibilities.

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In the Rye
Donald Mender

An ancient veteran,

famished,

lurched into the

nouvelle deli

and straight away,

unaware of the

Seniors’ Specials,

settled for a steamed

bananafish.

“Make sure it’s hot!”

he bellowed at

the young hostess.


Just outside,

freshly washed

downtown streets glistened

with cool, clean,

remodeled commerce,

purged of

smoky animal fat

and crispy dermal leftovers.

Jewbirds,

chittering Tattoo,

flew frantically

up a side alley toward

the very last independent cookstore

and grabbed crumbs

from a going-out-of-business sale,

whose remains

were to be burnt

as tax write offs.


I really do see

some added value

in time’s accrued

march-march-march,

but the slow roasted

heyday of our

cafeteria’s faded linoleum

had been more haimish,

and it muted

flashbacks

to Spam cans and mess kits,

their metallic taste

channeling carnage

along the border between

St.-Lô and Lwow.