It was a summer Shabbat – joyous, boisterous Friday night oneg
that makes its own music
lasting hours past midnight – and I remembered
I was due back at the Rebbetzin’s house. Couldn’t call, so I ran the mile.
Skirt swirling about my calves, the clack-clack of my ballet flats
against the pavement. Sweat trapped in my pantyhose
and ruined my blouse, so I unbuttoned it
and ran in my bra (no one was out at that hour)
the two halves of my top flapping like wings.
It felt amazing. Maybe I don’t hate running, I thought.
Maybe I just hate running clothes. The Rebbetzin welcomed me,
disheveled and exhilarated, back in the house. It came with the territory,
hosting guests with terrible manners. Some people are the trees,
and some people are the birds who fly back, empty the fridge,
trash the nest when they feel like it. The Rebbetzin would die young –
Ovarian cancer. Her family moved back to Brooklyn. By the time I learned,
It was Friday night and there was nowhere to run to.
© 2020 Jewish Young Professional