Summer 1982 • Vol. IV No. 3 Contemporary American PoetryJuly 1, 1982 |

The Eyes

A colored psychoanalyst?Sorry. You want me to sit here?You look half-Jewish. My wife's friendBelle nudged me to come. I hopeYou're not a Muslim. Do you haveA son? Sorry. "Why?"I can see pain in your eyes—My field is ophthalmology,Or was. I'm not retired, butI can't work. I guess that's why I've come . . . I joined a shul to give my son a homeAfter I died—with nostalgic smells:Satin and parchment. Who believedThe Auschwitz God could hear a prayer?Him!: "When the black plague destroyedHalf Europe's Christians, they fell to their kneesAnd found cause in their own lackOf faith." I wanted to stop there—The satin, the parchment. My wifeIgnored me, dug out her mother's shawlAnd bentsht lichtn each Friday night.And we had seders every spring,And sang in grass Quonset hutsOn Sukkos, and wept Kol Nidre nights . . You want to hear "a dream?" My sonDrifts from heaven in a parachuteDavning, a baby in a swing,At eighteen pretty as his mother,Eyes the color of Israel's flag.SUNSET IN L

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.