Bar mitzvah Blues

by Michael Kalisch

And just as I consider going
I catch the eye of Sara Cohen,
Who – I’m sure you would agree-
Is a knock-out in the first degree.

Who knows, I may even have half a chance,
So long as she does not see me dance
For I can only step a waltz,
And Jewish girls don’t like that schmaltz.

(And I curse myself for staring,
I realise I am wearing
A quite awful shirt.
And that the cuffs are marked with dirt.)

It’s a bar mitzvah, and I’m half Jew, half Gentile,
And so everyone offers a sympathetic smile,
Seeing me caught, as I am,
In this cultural no man’s land.

English, Jew, Gentile, What a mix!
As if God was intent on having me fixed,
somewhere betwixt
A rock and the Western Wall.

And what to do, what to do
To pretend to know the Hebrew too?
All the time aware of He all-knowing
with thoughts only of Sara Cohen.
And it turns out that Sara wasn’t looking at me.
But Avi Goldburg behind.
I don’t mind.
Honestly-It doesn’t bother me.