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Mall Poems

Mall Poems
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Looking Up

Battery dead, I look up:
children in bumper cars,
just another day at the mall.
parents jostling to get their child
this pink car, that blue one.

One boy with a kippah (in the pink car)
crashes into a girl's (purple) car
and smiles.

Their parents don't stand together.
One's mom here, the other's there.
She wears a sheitel. She wears a hijab.

When the children collide and smile
I search their mothers' eyes,
but they're looking down,
distracted by their phones.

Sof Onah / End of the Season

Discounts glare from every angle,
people everywhere, noise everywhere.

An Arab family walks into Hoodies,
followed by two yeshiva bochers.
A father carries his young girl,
a mother searches the crowd for hers.

I sit under an HD Samsung TV, watching it all, pushed by the noise, lights, chaos, lostness, and the rush of undifferentiated humanity, all just trying to to find a sale, their sale.

A Bag for Eggs

Twenty-three years ago
my father gave me a mesh bag for eggs,
for when I would go shopping.

The bag was already yellowed with age,
the bagless world it served long gone.

Here, in this Jewish mall,
cellphone kiosks abound,
flanked by American Eagle and Children's Place,
Cafe Hillel and Nautica,
Pizza Hut and Toys R Us.

I just ordered an omelette,
bought an extra cellphone battery,
and a new pair of sandals.

I brought my own bag.

Tzomet haSefarim / Book Junction

An image comes to mind
here in this bright, Hebrew bookstore:
five weathered books, stacked carefully
on my office bookshelf,
a gift from my father,
Torah with Rashi.

As I plow through an Aharon Appelfeld novel,
surrounded by all these shiny new books,
those faded blue volumes 
fill my eyes.

The Mall

I didn't come here
searching for meaning.
It's a mall, after all.


The escalator and elevator
carry God's Images up and down.
A child sits by a gushing fountain
built of rock, with his mother.
Spices and silver (and much more) are traded here.

Voices echo and combine,
bouncing off each surface,
rising to the domed sapphire roof,
perhaps beyond.

I... I did not know.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor ▶
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