by Edna Shochat (Boise, ID)
To each his Temple.
My house of worship was established years ago
for young men, Christian.
Today YMCA is simply “The Y”.
Why? Because now everyone is welcome
regardless of age, gender, or faith.
Neither young nor male,
Jewish by birth and atheist by choice,
I attend, religiously, a daily ritual in the pool.
Like joining a Minyan
gathering for morning prayer at the Shul.
I dip into the blue mikvah
and under watchful eyes of young lifeguards
swim like a gray-haired mermaid
counting my blessings.
Edna Shochat was born in British Mandate Palestine and grew up in Israel, leaving for the United States to follow career opportunities. Four years ago she and her husband followed their grandkids to Idaho. She discovered poetry at a Writing Through Cancer program while undergoing chemotherapy in 2011, and joined the YMCA to help her recovery. She continues to write poetry “to help carry her on the journey we all share, of aging.“