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TWO POEMS by Yehoshua November
Gefilte Guilt
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Behar, and the Source of all Sustenance
Conflicted Convert

TWO POEMS by Yehoshua November

An Opening It is said that if a Jew makes an opening in his heart for G-d to enter, even if it is as small as the eye of a needle, a g-dly energy will flood through, as though the hole were as wide as a road many caravans travel. And perhaps the riders of the caravans will also be Jews, who have come from very far, hauling their belongings from one exile to another, always anticipating the final sweet message: The redemption is upon us. Tangerine for my grandmother I know you only as a small boy knows an old woman, peeling a tangerine for his small mouth and from the inscription in the Yevtishenko book you gave my father when he was a boy: May you never be afraid of your Russian sensitivity. But as I read your notebooks I see that we share the same fear of science, and a distrust for all the gifts we believe we have not earned. And on the Sabbath before my wedding–
a day after my father and I had visited the cemetery to invite you and Zada to the ceremony– a stranger in a shul I had never been to asked me my name and if I knew you. Ma Shissel, I know you are watching over me, peeling the hardships from my days, allowing me to live as a boy who has never put the hard skin of the world to his lips.

Yehoshua November?s poetry has appeared in Provincetown Arts, New Works Review, The Forward, and Midstream, as well as in other publications. Last year, Prairie Schooner nominated one of his poems for a Pushcart Prize and selected his work as the winner of the Bernice Slote Award for emerging writers.  He has poems forthcoming in The Sun and Poetica. November can be reached at

All images by Michele Feder-Nadoff.

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