by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)
I am not prepared for the profusion
of colors and thought that are persuasive
here in the Jewish Museum of New York,
expecting gray shadows of smoke rising,
of twisted corpses and mournful dirges.
Look! There is a hanging chandelier
blinking on and off at irregular times,
as if one language doesn’t work,
another will, in this case in Morse Code.
All languages, sadly, are an approximation
of the truth, an attempt to get to the core
of what it means to be Jewish.
I am unsure of what that is,
in any language, art, script, whatever.
I see artists trying to answer that very same question
in forms more varied than my own imagination.
The medium differs, the search continues.
Imagine a room full of stuffed animals – a Bear-mitzvah!
I may not know exactly who I am,
but the comfort here in this museum
reminds me I am not alone in my quest.
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/