Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A new poem by John Norton

Surprised By Joy

Who might he have looked like
like my neighbor Sam Katz
sweeping the sidewalk
in his lucky Giants cap
the one with the Israeli flag pin
and a miniature mezuzah
like Hakim at the Trieste
making the perfect cappuccino
all day every day
reserving his banter for the women.
He must have been dark-skinned
curly beard
headwrap of some sort
to keep the sand out of his hair
short hirsute circumcised
his family desert people
water is precious
the sustainer of life
a complaining people
eyes down mostly
the Roman yoke one more burden.
Night watch in the hills – 
a pack of no-good illiterates
distracted by the chanting and the music
now startled by the whirling lights
pick up and run into the town
not knowing what they might find.

John Norton


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