Brine – Donald Mender

About sixty nautical miles
northwest of Bremerhaven
in thick rough brown seas,
heaving like gelatin,
I managed to reel in
a few stringy little

Our slapdash ark,
manned by
a battered minyan,
red with bitterness
but working the outstretched
tiller to move us
beyond the roiling slime
and great whites,
yet survived.

What says the saved son,
for whom just enough
salted manna
rose from the deep,
waves began to part,
and, by and by,
rainbows beckoned
above the Promised Shore,
though Mama and Papa
had drowned?

Praises to Hashem,
one herring at a time.


Donald started writing poetry at the age of 16, when he served as editor-in-chief of his high school’s literary magazine. At his present age of 71, he’s digging back in time for inspiration. Recently, he has published poems trying to make contact with tensions between older and newer Jewish sensibilities.

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