by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)
Every year I assail the heavens,
lashing out at redundant ritual,
keeping the prayer book shut,
and my mind shut even tighter.
I would like to connect to Him,
but not here, oh, no, not here
in this box of old men and ancient chants.
The mournful songs loop around my neck,
and the text, when I peek, lies prostrate
on the page in supplication and obeisance,
a one-themed dirge to a devotion I do not feel.
In answer, He has already suggested
my year may not go well, a trip here,
a pain there, a sign that my fate
may have already been sealed.
However, I would like to state for the record,
I continue to bang the walls in frustration,
dying for a way in, but highly averse
to mouthing the words with the old men
who await along with me the final verdict.
The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years. Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.