The yeshiva fades from recollection
and in the spaces of memory where voices are stored,
the rabbis of my youth chant questions and answers,
as they swim through the Talmud.
And when I have fallen —
there is the image of the head rabbi,
his disciples assimilated in a circle of dance,
until he, too, slowly and deliberately
asserts his inheritance,
closes his eyes, gives his arms to the air,
and movement by movement
departs and returns to this world.
And what is it that I have ignored,
that has brought me here,
only to watch the others dance?
Yehoshua November’s work was recently selected as the winner of Prairie Schooner’s Bernice Slote Award for emerging writers. His poems are forthcoming in New Works Review, Provincetown Arts, Zeek, Poetica and European Judaism.