Today is Tisha B’Av.
Twenty-five hours of unrelenting grief
for catastrophies that befell the Jews
on this date during history.
Call me heretic.
Call me heathen.
Drum me out of the tribe
because today I don’t want to go there.
Today I will not mourn the fallen Temples.
I will ignore Bar Kochba,
I will not fast,
sit on low stools,
cast dust upon my head,
gird myself with sackcloth
or lament the tenderhearted mothers
boiling their own children.
This Tisha b’Av I choose to relish dinner with old friends.
True blue forever to the moon and back old friends,
each somewhat battered, bruised and knocked about.
Spilling cioppino down our shirt fronts,
gobbling up the cherry pie,
remembering when X left his wife for Y,
remembering when we smoked pot on the train,
drank Chivas on the rocks,
kissed under the moon.
This Tisha b’Av I choose to wash my hair,
bathe and oil my ancient thighs,
rouge my cheeks,
put on my crimson dress
and celebrate Alice’s birthday.
We will be neither anguished nor distressed.
We will eat cake.
Speak only joy.
for sustaining us and enabling us
to reach this season.
This Tisha b’Av I choose to stick my head in the sand
like an ostrich in the wilderness.
Soon enough will His bow set me as a mark for the arrow.
Soon enough will we dwell in dark places,
our dance turned to mourning,
our tears running down with rivers of water.
But today, by golly, I will not weep.
copyright 2016 Ozzie Nogg