by Brad Jacobson (Columbia, MO)
Black stocking feet and no shoes.
Blue and white prayer shawl
wrapped around his head and arms.
He stands in front of the ancient Wall,
his face hidden.
Large as a lion, he raises his hands
like a street performer before the worshippers.
He sweeps his arms above
the old man in white,
above a boy
in a blue baseball jersey,
above the rabbi
in back of the Torah.
The Lion of Hope roars, and
his prayers speed like Lefty’s fastball,
soar to the top of Mt. Moriah,
pure as tears protecting a child’s prayer.
He steps slowly to a chair by mine.
I touch the Wall and hear
the Big Man whisper,
I am exhausted.
After prayers we walk together
to the Kiddush table by the stairs.
The Rabbi raises a cup of wine.
Big Man turns to sing sweet
Shabbat songs to Chinese tourists.
He shakes my hand.
Be healthy. Have peace.