Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STONE OF CHOICE, SELECTION, by KALONYMOS BEN KALONYMOS

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STONE OF CHOICE, SELECTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Damn the one damn
Alternate Author Name(s): Kalonymus Ben Kalonymus ben Meir
Subject(s): Jews; Mysticism - Judaism; Judaism

Damn the one damn
Let his tongue split
Spit on the one
The onanist who gave
My father the "good" news:
You have a son!
Pity the fathers, yes,
And the mothers
Who have male children.
What a joke!
And what a terrible burden.
Armies, armies of prohibitions
And commandments lie in wait,
Positive, negative, and eternal
Who can fulfill these obligations?
No matter how responsible he is
Who can fulfill 613 commandments?
Who can do it?
It's impossible.
I'm a sinner and a lawbreaker.

It would have been wonderful
To have been born a girl -- with flowing
Hair and green eyes
And be expert at a spinning wheel
Or crocheting with my friends.
During dusktime, the girls and I
Would drink coffee and
Eat cookies, telling stories,
Planning shopping trips to the city
People would be impressed
At my talent for crocheting
I'd create the loveliest patterns!
Then at the appropriate time
I'd marry a beautiful youth
How he would adore me
We would touch each other everywhere.
His gifts, gold and diamonds,
Would adorn me
And he'd carry me around on his hands
Kissing and hugging me.

But my fate
The bitterness of it!
I was born a man
So God willed it.
I can't be changed.
I can't be changed
From a man into a woman.
I will accept it in love
And thank the Holy One, blessed be He,
With the words:
"Blessed art thou, Lord, who has
Not made me a woman."

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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