Inside the book are many books.


My hus­band leans into his work­bench, sands wood.

Shav­ings fall.

He drills per­pen­dic­u­lar to the wood,

mak­ing holes for pins.

He hasn’t unpacked his suit­case yet, 

which lies open on our bed­room floor.


Rab­bi Yish­mael taught acceptance.


In the books lie contradictions 

which are answers

and those answers are questions 

with answers in oth­er books.


A famil­iar voice is say­ing to me, Come sit on the couch, 

let’s watch something.


I know if I men­tion the suit­case he will pick it up

and place it in his study, which 

is filled with papers and suit­cas­es and boxes. 


Books sit sol­id on the shelves. 

The ques­tions they hold are silent.


Rab­bi Aki­va taught to embrace restraint.


Then some­one tried to help. Fun, they said.

I didn’t under­stand and asked, What do you mean?

They clar­i­fied: Just have fun!

This piece is a part of the Berru Poet­ry Series, which sup­ports Jew­ish poet­ry and poets on PB Dai­ly. JBC also awards the Berru Poet­ry Award in mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Wein­flash as a part of the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards. Click here to see the 2020 win­ner of the prize. If you’re inter­est­ed in par­tic­i­pat­ing in the series, please check out the guide­lines here.