Erev Sukkot by Julia Knobloch
The moon stood high over Yaffa Road.
Why take a photo, my companion asked,
behold the moment and enjoy the night.
Shabbat was over.
An old chazzan greeted us from the doorway
of a small shul near the shuk. For a while,
he joined our walk into the quiet new week,
singing of gold, copper, myrrh and roses.
Dates and jasmine filled the air
after bare and sour pilgrimage.
My olive harvest was destroyed.
I didn’t know if I had the strength to plough
new fields and seek uncertain gain.
On Erev Sukkot in Nachla’ot there was time
for one more pomegranate juice,
for salvation, a few hours.
At dawn I drove down silent hills,
I beheld the parting moon leading me into the morning—
Stranger in exile, she said, I will come back and so will you.
From the collection Do Not Return, published in 2019 by Broadstone Books
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