Angel wings by Richard Bloom

Angel wings

I light the Yom Kippur candles
for members of my family.
I do this every other year.
The in-between years, I forget.
I’m not a good Jew.

In Sacre Coeur, I light candles
for my father and my brother.
The arms of the five-story high Christ
stretch long, wide and straight out
like angel wings on poor geese
who eat too much bread
from the hands of ignorant tourists.

When Hasidim by the C-line stop me
to ask if I’m Jewish, I nod ‘yes.’
Young bearded men in exhausted suits
coil my head and arms with
black straps of the tefillin.
To focus my attention on the
head, heart, and hand.

In the late hours, I touch the glass
enclosing each flame,
to feel the warmth of their bodies,
head, heart, and hand.


Richard Bloom has published in various magazines, including Seneca Review, New York Quarterly, Barnwood International, and Eunoia Review. He has attended Breadloaf, and studied poetry writing with several accomplished poets at the 92nd Street Y. He worked in advertising for many years. Currently, he is a substitute teacher in the NYC public schools.

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