by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)
“The usual, Mel?”
says Delora, the sweet-smiling
server at the new Mennonite-run coffee shop.
“I’m thinking,” I say.
“How is God treating you today?”
she asks playfully, but with
a hint of missionary zeal.
“OK, I guess, hadn’t thought about it.”
Last week I accepted a tract
from her on the life of Jesus.
“What did you think? Interesting, no?”
“I’m still digesting it,” I say.
Sweet Delora, I think,
I’ll finish your book,
discuss its merits,
but don’t expect me
to switch religions.
I may be a “bad” Jew, derelict
in his religious and cultural duties,
but I am still a Jew.
You are certainly entitled to follow
whomever you want, but
do not count me in your fold.
I may not follow a strict Jewish path,
but I’m not about to deviate off it.
“I see you have chicken noodle soup
on the menu. I’ll have that to celebrate
who I am,” I say proudly.
“Good choice,” Delora says.
Mel Glenn, the author of twelve books for young adults, is working on a poetry book about the pandemic tentatively titled Pandemic, Poetry, and People. He has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years. 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/