That Which I Could No Longer Bridge

Tucking my keys into my bra, I thought of how
preparation for a walk to shul on Shabbat
is similar to preparation for a night of clubbing - 

the way it is preferable to take your keys
and leave the rest of your purse behind,  
the way a pair of black hooker boots 
completes either outfit.   

“You can’t keep straddling the fence,” Eitan told me,
“You need to make a choice.”  But for a long time
I straddled worlds and days of the week:

Thursday night - clubbing.
Friday night - Shabbat dinner.
Saturday – Shabbat services.
Saturday night- dancing again.  
Sunday morning – Torah study.

The two sides worked in unison like bike pedals, 
propelling me through college.  
Only, I was travelling along a fault line which widened 
after graduation to a gorge 

I could no longer bridge with my body.
So I chose the simpler side.

But today, as I lock the door and tuck
my keys into my bra
I wonder what could have been
if I’d swung my black-booted legs
to the other side.

 © 2021 Jewish Young Professional 

Image by eungyo seo from Pixabay


Revision of an old poem for dVerse, Go Dog Go Cafe, and retroactively for The Sunday Muse because I think this image also captures the balancing act.

From The Sunday Muse


    • I actually don’t necessarily believe religious and secular pursuits have to be an unbridgeable dichotomy. This was originally a much older draft inspired by a previous shomer negiah relationship in which that was much more the case. One of the things that was nice about the early days of the current relationship was that we could observe Shabbat together and go out dancing together. (Not that the current state of current relationship is anything to celebrate, but it wasn’t always like this.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • It actually really felt that way! I enjoyed having that secular life and that religious life and it felt like it was working. In the end, that wasn’t quite the case and I had to get off the pike, but it really did feel that way for a time.


  1. Thank you for this well-written, personal poem. I really enjoyed it. I particularly loved “The two sides worked in unison like bike pedals,” as well as the image of the boots working for both outfits. I’m not religious–and I was never a club-goer either–but I wonder, too, if making a choice is part of a growing up process. Thank you for joining in!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s fun to wonder what-if from time to time as long as we don’t dwell in it. We can only be where we are right at this moment. Where we go from here though is another matter 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh this is absolutely lovely! It’s been a while since we went out clubbing … feels like ages ago. No matter, those days will return. 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am rather pessimistic by nature (pre-COVID, I would have described myself as “a happy pessimist”; now, I would describe myself as “an unhappy pessimist”) but the club near me has started planning events, guest DJs, etc. and I must admit that I’m allowing myself to get excited!


  4. A very interesting dilemma both theologically and sociologically.Orthodox Christians share the same problem.We live in a culture where self gratification is encouraged…you can have it all is the mantra….makes it hard on the young,,,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] Write your story down because someday, you’re not going to remember this shit. You should do this even if your story is, in fact, shit [Cousin’s and Sibling’s feedback notwithstanding, pretty much all of my stories from that era were not actually that good, possibly because they were conceived of by a six-year-old (although that’s no excuse because there are talented six-year-old writers)], because the deeply crappy story you write down now could be revised to, or inspire, something halfway-decent later. I have done this with some of my crappy college/early post-college era poems. […]


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