A Flip of the Coin

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

So tell me, learned men of the Torah,

who see beshert as a wedding cake of joy,

a bouquet of blessings bestowed by a loving God,

do you also not consider the flip side of the coin,

the reality of a world beset by numbing horror?

In addition to the glass half full,

do you not allow for a glass half empty,

with nothing left but the dregs,

such as when a plane falls from the sky?

Is that beshert, too?

When unimaginable tragedy visits our people

was that similarly meant to be?

At those times, I am inclined to believe

in the total indifference of the universe.

But when good things happen –

a child heals, new lovers meet, nations avoid war –

I am inclined to leave the philosophical door ajar,

and concede we have been placed in this good world

for a divine purpose from a purposeful God.

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/

1 Comment

Filed under American Jewry, Judaism, poetry

One response to “A Flip of the Coin

  1. Rita Timmer

    A lovely poem – as lovely as the author himself.

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