Monthly Archives: October 2014


by Natalie Zellat Dyen (Huntington Valley, PA)

When someone breaks your heart
Into a thousand pieces
Toss a handful
Into the night sky
To shine like stars
Counted by lovers
Whose hearts have yet to be broken.

Plant them in places
Where nothing grows.
Barren as Hannah’s womb
But pregnant with possibilities of new life.
Gifts of unexpected miracles.

Slip them into the backpacks of strangers
The shopping carts of homeless men
Battered women
And abandoned children.
Anonymous blessings
To ease their journeys.

And take the last, most precious fragments
Of your once heart
And offer them to the one who broke it
To accept or reject.
It’s out of your hands.
But offer you must.
It’s what we do
In these days of endings and beginnings.

Natalie Zellat Dyen is a freelance writer and photographer living in Huntingdon Valley, PA. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Stories, The Willow Review, Global Woman Magazine, Intercom Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, and other newspapers and journals. She is currently working on a novel. Links to Natalie’s published work are available at

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Filed under American Jewry, poetry

The Encounter

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

In the middle of Times Square, he approached me,
a bit hesitatingly, looking more like
a tourist than a native New Yorker.
I thought he was going to ask for directions.
“Are you Jewish?” he said.
Do I look Jewish?
I paused, then nodded.
What did he want? Money?
“Let me tell you something,” he said.
I looked away, anxious to get rid of him.
Did I need to hear his philosophy? Who was he?
“Let me tell you my impressions of New York.”
I don’t have time for this.
“I’m from Tel Aviv and the two cities are quite …..”
“Excuse me,” I said, “but my wife is waiting and….”
“But, only a minute; let me tell ….….”
I gathered my wife nearby and we walked away.
“You should have listened to him,” she said,
at least for a while. He was just lonely.”
She was right. I looked back, but the man was gone.
I had missed everything, tone, intent, need to talk,
and had squandered a chance to ease the pain of loneliness
of a stranger in the city, my city.

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:

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Filed under American Jewry, Jewish identity, poetry