Extra Latkes?

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

At the Chanukah party
she was stuffing the extra latkes
deep into her pocketbook.
When a raised eyebrow questioned her,
she explained without guilt,
“Look, I live on a fixed income.
I don’t have money to go to restaurants.
I go to as many Jewish functions as I can,
so who are you to judge me?”
“I didn’t say a word.”
“Your face did.”
She had a point.
Was this any different from
a beggar on the subway
asking for a handout?
She was perhaps more social,
and better dressed, that’s all.
“And the music is free,” she added.
What is wrong with my compassion,
I thought, as I helped myself to another latke.

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 the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Filed under American Jewry, Brooklyn Jews, poetry

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