Charles Wax

Above All Things Desirable - Poem by Charles Wax

A little man in his late seventies
trudged along
in front of the Hebrew Home For the Aged in Coney Island
grey skull, faded skin,
huge rounded hump on his back
forcing him to totter on in a stooped position.
“The Messiah is coming, ” he said,
“Are you waiting also?
I know it’s a long time we’re waiting.
But He will come. Otherwise,
what is the meaning of our Earthly existence? ”
In order to look at me he tilted his head
causing his lips and cheeks to tremble.
“There must be a purpose to life
other than death. No?
What do you say? Walk with me. Walk for the Messiah.
If I only stand my strange shape pains me.”
Just then Angie strolled over
and said, “ Irving Frankel, you’re looking good.”
Then appeared a great rush of words:
“We want too much. No?
Perhaps not to want happiness,
not to think of it, then He comes?
Perhaps my suffering—the Messiah’s gift?
Never do I rest. Later? After the end? Then? ”
“Irving Frankel, ” said Angie, her voice so sweet, so gentle,
his name like a benediction.
No words now, silence
staring at Angie. “You’re a handsome lad, ” she said
kissing him softly on the cheek.
Still silence, his face serene,
Angie kissing him again
this time
a smile.

Comments about Above All Things Desirable by Charles Wax

  • (2/2/2009 3:09:00 PM)

    This poem is a sort of a zen. Today must be a zen day, and I very much like this poem.
    Makes one think.
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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 26, 2009

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