These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

The Photograph

Posted on April 14, 2013 by Tadea Klein

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There is a little girl in a photograph
A fair-haired, sweet-faced thing
Her arms wrapped around the neck of a man
	with dark, calm eyes and the inquisitive sniffing nose of a true Jew
I know that this girl in her red shirt and black velvet dress,
	whose earliest memory is the sound of shouting,
Will pick up the phone and cry and cry and cry
Because she believes with a perfect faith
	that her father loves her
And fathers that love their daughters
Do not cancel a visit because it looks like rain
That one day soon this little girl will all but say to her mother
	“He doesn’t deserve me”
And I am angry, on behalf of this little girl
This trusting, loving child who
	even when she forgets what he looks like
Even when she meets the man with a soccer ball
	who laughs with her and loves her and tells her horrible jokes
	and thinks that she’s one-sixth of the entire world
Will carry with her the sure certainty
That one too many faults
One too many flaws
(And even one is too many)
And she will be left alone again
Crying, crying, crying into empty air