Poem for the Man Who Called Me a JewBu
This is the story of my people:
When Rachel dies bearing a child
whom she names, child of my suffering,
Jacob calls him Benjamin, child of my right hand.
I’m reminded of the man who comes to the bar
who noticed the Star of David around my neck,
my mala beads wound round my left hand
and said are you a JewBu?
I said I’m a Jew who practices yoga,
the star close to my heart, who I am,
the beads on my arm, what I do.
What is the difference between love and action?
Outside the Krishna temple there is a bell
on the right side, you’re supposed to ring it
when you enter, which is what Ragunath, my yoga teacher
tells me and so I do.
It was a Saturday morning and I was not in temple.
Upstairs the sunlight on my purple mat.
I did not say the bell reminded me of the mezuzah,
which my people affix to the doorposts of their houses,
how we kiss it when entering and leaving.
What is the difference between alike and different?
Where Rachel died, Jacob put a pillar
to explain something unexplainable.
— by Carly Sachs