I stand upon the aluminum dock alone
Staring into the murky waters.
An image of memories appear before my youthful eyes.
I see myself, a young child, sitting on the bed.
Stricken with the measles.
In the afternoon sunlight.
The linens brilliant with the illuminated warmth of Alpha Omega.
A year later I lie upon the same sunlit bed.
A couple of pillows beneath my sore butt.
I received a sterilized glass syringe topped with a stainless steel hypedermic needle right in the butt while I was suffering with scarlet fever.
Across the floor boards of the bedroom, upon my brother’s bed stood Harry Houdini.
He claimed he could get out of the chains and shackles of my youth.
I sit there unwrapping a chocolate bar.
My dog sits upon the rug beside my bed.
The sunlight answers all my detailed, anxiety riveted questions.
I am being groomed to be an old rabbi.
My young butt is imprinted with prophecy.
And I chew the chocolate.
Outside, down the hall, I hear the phone ring.
Father is talking to the family doctor.
My old dog sleeps in the sunlight.
I am a child.
Stricken with scarlet fever.
I am young sitting on the front stoop of our family house.
Picking off aromatic leaves from the spearmint patch.
The afternoon newspaper is sitting folded upon the porch.
My dog lies sleeping by my side.
Japanese beetles are massing throughout Mrs. Page’s rose garden.
The Negro garbage man pushes a cart up the driveway.
I stand before the child’s summer sun . . . pretending to light an old chocolate cigar.
A bird settles into the bushes.
The slow milk truck putts down the summer asphalt.
The mailman comes casually walking across our front lawn.
Chewing gum beneath the first class postage of his ruddy complexion.
Always a warm smile for the kids.
Mom hangs the linen upon the long clothes line in the backyard.
An apple pie cools upon the window ledge.
Slowly steam rising from the aging family archives.
Children running through the grasses laughing as they go.
Dogs barking while jumping wildly in the summer afternoon.
The radio rests upon the painted wooden sill broadcasting ancient songs.
The newpaper pages flutter about in the warm winds.
And I walk slowly to my bed of marigolds.
So brilliant and orange like a gift from Achilles.
The bushes riddled with little pink blossoms.
Zeus told Paris to choose the most beautiful woman upon Earth.
This surely was “The Judgement of Paris”.
Would it be Hera, Athena or Aphrodite.
All these goddesses offered him bribes.
Aphrodite offered him Helen of Troy . . . standing there in a white gown upon an ocean’s cliff.
The most beautiful woman in the world!
I stand there in the sandbox with my shovel in my hand.
Baffled by her beauty.
There beside my mother as she is pinning up the billowing sheets in the warm summer winds.
It was Paris that shot the poisoned arrow into Achille’s heel.
“My marigolds! My marigolds!” I let out the cry.
It is late afternoon and Dad comes rolling up the driveway.
In his old red Plymouth.
I go running to him crying out “Hi Daddy! What have you got for me?”
Climbing out in his gray business suit he reaches down and picks me up and kisses me upon the cheek.
Oh yes, those awesome summer winds are blowing!
Neighborhood children come out of the bushes, from beneath the slide and elsewhere in the organic nature of the cataclysmic hour.
The evening sun crashes all about our backyard!
Children of Achilles wrapped in the finest of linen.
I even have fresh tobacco for The Medicine Man.
Mother set up for a dinner at the picnic table.
We engulf a meal of grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and beans.
Spitting the seeds of the melon.
Mom brings out a white cake.
I feed a few bites to an old dog.
We help Mom clear the dishes and load the washer.
Now it is time for TV.
And later we climb into our pajamas.
And crawl into our children’s beds.
Dad comes in to read us a story and Mom comes up to kiss us good night.
And so that is a day in the life of this young Jew.
Where the holy scriptures are read from right to left.
And one day our children will themselves beget children, too.
Until then I just sit here at my computer computing freshly baked poetry.
And reading my holy poems completely backwards.
But for now I hear the radio.
And the crickets remaining from the holy lands.
I sit at my window . . .