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VCU Menorah Review Summer/Fall 2012
Number 77
For the Enrichment of Jewish Thought

Beyond the Second Coming

A poem by Richard Sherwin

Repent me in soap  
and ashes scrubbing pure of   
sin your escutcheon  
     Millennia of lighting  
     lamp shades of my skin for trash  
Keeping promises  
though bored returning to judge  
what youve done to you  
     As example take the Jew  
     lets not ah thats your problem  
No theirs O now I  
see you cant stomach even  
the least part of me  
     Lets not exaggerate please  
     its in the throat they choke us

Going peacefully  
from ghetto to gas chamber  
work camp to lime pit  
     Polish fire to Russian ice  
     the bastards just wont stay dead  
Sorry your honor  
didnt meant it quite O hell  
you know what we meant  
     Youd think theyd take the hint and  
     quit shoving in where not wanted  
Where do you suggest  
they go well really thats your  
province more than ours  
     And waving the wafer wont       
     solve it so easy neither  
Its not what they do  
or are but that they are here  
at alls what galls us  
     Now thats not very friendly  
     without them where would I be  
You said that not us  
we're saying its unjust we  
didnt create them  
     Choose them dont want them never  
     did never will and thats that  
Do you speak for all  
well not to be honest all  
of us all the time  
     But all of us most times and  
     most of us all times and souls  

   Churches and parties  
left right and center nations        
and movements and worlds  
     The big two and the third and  
     even the outcast fourth one  
Use secret ballots  
poll the United Nations  
Disunited too  
     Man to man now theyre fucking  
     up the peace of the world Sir  
Not to mention oil  
we need to wash with and keep  
the home fires burning  
     It really shouldnt be so  
     hard for you to find a place  
If reports are right  
youve inherited lots of  
mansions out in space  
     What say we pack them up and  
     you choose the coordinates  
That way we'll kiss them  
off say Representatives  
In Space sounds good huh  
     Sounds okay but what about  
     Quakers they love every one  
Some a little more  
some a little less and no  
Jews a little more  
     But whatll you do without  
     them I'll have to take me too  

Hallelujah weve  
convinced him weve won past and  
present and future  
     You do your part we'll do ours  
     Lord just leave the earth to us  
Weve got science and  
philosophy and yoga  
we'll get by not bad  
     You come back on a visit  
     youll see how well we do Sir  
You must have noticed  
how far weve come since last time  
you dropped in on us  
     Weve got infrared goggles  
     to see in the darkness with  
                         --Richard Sherwin


Richard Sherwin is Menorah Review’s “poet laureate” and a contributing editor.

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Updated: Jan. 24, 2013

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