In his hands, he folds the note,
Smaller and smaller
The words he’d found so hard to write
The question he’d found so hard to ask

His feet move slowly
Towards the stones touched by holy men
Black coats, black hats, gray beards
these begin to fill his eyes.

Ardent swaying, lips giving shape to murmured hopes,
the buzz of commotion like a thousand bees.
His heart quickens as he gets closer
to the wall he has faced so many times before.

Gray slips of paper
Stuffed deep in cracks, crags etched by time.
To these tattered remains of prayers; hopes; dreams
he places his, with a trembling hand.

It is a request he dare not utter aloud
A silent cry to the Almighty
From one whose faith has been folded over the years
Smaller and smaller

Until tradition seems but a stranglehold
Wrapped tight as a sign upon the hand
between the eyes
but not around his heart…

So, today, his note is
A prayer to know if
That which is new,” that which the “holy” call
naarishkeit, foolishness,
For the goyim—for them—not for us!”
is part of the mystery

He stares at his empty hands, praying
Hoping that the Almighty will hear him,
Hoping to hear the Almighty.

“Call to Me
and I will answer you,
and I will tell you great and mighty things
which you do not know.”