Blue Nails on the Subway

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

Blue nails,
Hebrew prayer book,
Nike running shoes.
What question would I ask, I wonder?
How, my child of Israel,
do you reconcile your two worlds?
I shudder to think you go partying
at hot spots in the city Friday nights,
or run half-marathons Saturday mornings.
I watch you as you hold your book
up to your face after reading, as if
you were memorizing the wisdom therein.
There is no doubt God’s tent
is large enough to shelter you
no matter which corner you inhabit.
You get off at DeKalb Avenue,

confident of stepping surely in both worlds.

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.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit:

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Filed under American Jewry, Jewish identity

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