Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poem for Wednesday, Chanukah, DC Aquarium

Honorary Jew
By John Repp

The first year, I grated potatoes, chopped onions
& watched. The second year, I fed all but the eggs

into the machine & said I'll do the latkes & did,
my pile of crisp delights borne to the feast by the wife

who baffled me, our books closed, banter hushed,
money useless in the apartment -- house, my in-laws called it,

new-wave thump at one end, ganja reek at the other --
in which she'd knelt to tell the no one who listened

no more no     no more no     a three-year-old mouthing
the essential prayer. The uncle made rich by a song

stacked three & dug in, talking critics & Koch --
everyone crunching now, slathering applesauce, slurping tea --

talking Rabin & Mehitabel, radio & Durrell,
how a song is a poem or it isn't a song

& vice-versa. Done, he pointed a greasy finger
at me, said You can't be a goy. You -- I say it

for all to hear -- are an honorary Jew!

which, impossible dream, my latkes lived up to

for five more years. Then the wailing.
Then the dust.


Happy Chanukah! I had a fairly quiet Tuesday, spent mostly with Daniel who slept so late that I got all my work done in the morning before he was out of bed. We went to California Tortilla for lunch, where various Star Trek TV Tropes came up, so when we came home I folded laundry and we watched what TV Tropes readers agree are the three finest episodes of Deep Space Nine -- "In the Pale Moonlight," "Duet" and "Far Beyond the Stars" (not having "Necessary Evil" on that list pains me but I'll make sure it's the first one next time).

Adam's girlfriend came home from school with him to do homework, and after they walked the dogs, we went to my parents' for dinner and the first night's candle-lighting. The food was great -- potato latkes, meatballs and meatless balls, kugel, donuts. When we came home, Daniel was playing Skyrim and Adam had work to do, so Paul and I watched Fever Pitch since he'd had to listen to me go on about it. Colin Firth and Mark Strong make adorable football fans. Here are some photos from the National Aquarium on Sunday, including the albino alligator:

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