Colin Greer Poems: Mezuzah and All in the Family

Mezuzah Case, Jewish Museum, Rome by Mike Legend (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


The message is faded or not.

Not is significant

Not is life to be lived.

Not faded

With a kiss

In passing

in and out.


If the ink is thick I can

Yell at the guy reading his smart phone

On the tread mill

If it’s faded he’ll probably

Kick my ass.

That’s empirical

Nothing mystical.

Nothing mystical?


With a kiss

In passing

Into the therapist’s office

Who is not Jewish (rented from a Jew)

If the ink is fading

I needn’t go in,

If I knew that was the case.


Instead buy a coffee in a store

With a neutered doorpost.

Leave a 30% tip on $2.30

Drop a dollar on the smelly man

Who opens the door.

If the ink is thick

He won't touch my hand

As I drop a buck in his.

If it’s faded

I’ll get the flu.

That’s empirical

Germ theory.


It’s Halloween

The man at the door stretches out an arm

To pry it open

Half a crucifixion pose

He’s wearing a Trump mask               rubber

I notice

I don’t care

If the ink is thick

He’ll take off the mask


Throw it out.

If it’s faded      he won't.

That’s empirical

Or bashert.


All in the Family

Booba said shandaa lot

When the outside white stone stairs

Were muddied and bruised.

The same shandaif my parents

Closed their sweet shop in 1940

Two years after buying it

Just because Hitler dropped bombs.

Shandaif a Jewish child married

A non Jew. People looked like stairs

But there was no cleaning or scrubbing

After that.

Booba spoke pigeon english

Never knowing a pigeon is a dove,

Or birds are dinosaurs.


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