Poetry by Don Krieger

Don Krieger is a biomedical researcher whose focus is the electric
activity within the brain. His full-length collection, "Discovery," is
forthcoming from Cyberwit. He is a 2020 Creative Nonfiction Fellow.
His work has appeared in Neurology, Live Mag!, Seneca Review, The
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Asahi Shimbun, Entropy, and others.

235

Legacy of the Golden Calf

She had my love

and her twin sons,

their lives filled with learning and prayer,

each with twelve children of their own.

I davened with them,

a thousand men close around me,

women in a mezzanine at the back,

the great schul at seven-seventy Eastern Parkway

the world’s home for their faith.

When we said the aleinu,

they all spit on the floor

and on each other in the crush,

disgust for idols, to cleanse 

that ancient taint to the tongue,

and because their Rebbe had spit

forty years before.

These days with the virus,

how many will bear death home 

to those open wombs?

After, we sat, all together at dinner.

I asked if the women spit too – 

I asked out of disgust

and for the children.

No one answered

and I never saw her again.

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