Mizmor L'David Anthology 

 


Poetica Magazine, Contemporary Jewish Writing


Miles Liss was born in Boston, but his family soon moved to a moshav in Israel. When they returned, the family settled in South Florida. Miles currently lives in the DC area, where he teaches high school English and special education.

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Stones
Miles Liss

The headstone on my father’s grave,

which I haven’t seen in years,
once saved my life when I offered
his dead bones a prayer to end my madness.

At the Wailing Wall, 14-years-old,
I wrote a prayer for God to look
after my father’s soul—inserted it
between the cracks in the stones,
with so many other prayers.

I planted a tree in the hills of
Jerusalem for him. I hope it
grew and is living a full life—
such as he never knew.

I’m old enough to have been
my father’s father.

Sometimes I’m low, like a rabbit’s
shadow hiding under desert stones.
There’s nothing that can bring me
out. I have to sit and hope for the
sun to revive me once again.