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“On the Way to Rome”

Sheri Lindner
January 12, 2018

by Sheri Lindner

 

ON THE WAY TO ROME

The Palestinian woman
with the headscarf
stands to stretch her bad knee.
I know about the knee
she bumped into
a desk corner in February
because we stood
together at the
toilet line
after dinner was served.
She's going to Jerusalem
for the summer
to visit family.
Her fourteen year old daughter
sitting between my husband and me
explained that one is exempt
from observing Ramadan
when traveling
though it was well after
sundown
when dinner was served anyway.
And across the aisle
sits her sister
next to the man
wearing a kippah
who just stood
bound himself in
t'filin
draped his tallit
over his head,
and is now davening
shaharit before we land.
All of us on this plane together
38,000 feet high
sharing this small plot
inhaling exhaling
each other's breath.

 

Sheri Lindner , Ph.D. is a poet, essayist, and former associate editor of Jewish Women’s Literary Annual. Her works have appeared previously in Jewish Currents and in other print and online publications. She was awarded first place in the 2nd annual Nassau County Poet Laureate Society poetry contest, and is the author of Opening Eden’s Gate.