My Father Was a Zionist

My father

was a devoted man.

He didn’t study the Torah.

He didn’t keep Kosher.

He was devoted to the proletariat

of the Jewish people.

.

My father

was a working man.

He smelt of pin and dirt

and helped build our bomb shelter

with his sturdy hands.

He researched desert agriculture

and studied African irrigation techniques.

.

My father

was a visionary man.

All our neighbors

said his dream was impossible.

He campaigned for a Jewish state.

He was part of the hands

holding the sling that shot Goliath.

.

My father

is a joyous man.

He moved my family

from Russia

from Paterson

to the promised lands

where life began anew.

_________________________________________________

This poem, along with the other poems categorized under the Labkovski Project section, were written for the LAMOTH exhibit on David Labkovski’s life and art.

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