A Bar Mitzvah


I almost said
Ah to be thirteen again!
But my thirteen was as lousy as twelve
All the rotten years that came
and those that remain

As I watched this boy
Sing and pray words unfamiliar
With such conviction and joy
I wasn’t happy, nor sad
I felt lost and inferior

Alien indeed
Not the wardrobe
nor the strange sound of words
Majesty of the temple
or the ache in my toes

I grew up in a family
Not peasants nor lords
vast in numbers indeed
A culture with songs
Costumes, written words

At five, ten, or thirteen
Did I matter? No!
A Nuisance at best
But mostly Insignificant
and I remained low

Not belonging, this else-ness
Is a slow bitter death
Drowning in my sorrows
And the unbearable shoes, I walk
Wearing a smile so forced it hurts

A boy walks out a man
Oh so proud
and I remain
bitter, yet fairly softened
As I wish him well

This wasn’t home. I am
yet to find belonging
But as people go
This was a gracious crowd
and I have hope

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