Poem on the Way Home from Tel Aviv

Poem on the Way Home from Tel Aviv

I want to say that Haifa's coast
outside the train window is beautiful,
but not any more or less
than any other coast. Not that it matters.
It's dark now. Still, I know it's there,
the way you can feel the walls
when the lights are off. Not any more
or less beautiful. This morning
there were stabbings in Jerusalem
and Tel Aviv and tonight there are soldiers
on the train going home to their families.
Tomorrow there will be Shabbat dinner
and on Sunday there will be guard duty.
Blessed is He who makes labor
and libation. Who sends sons to war
and brings fathers from work. I do not
usually pray, but when I do it is to a god
who crafted the coast by smudging
his finger along the edge of the water.
Who watches boats drift across
the shore as joggers run by. Who still
plays with vinegar and baking soda.
Who has not decided which language
has the best word for dignity. A god
who likes long train rides because
they give him a chance to rest,
even if he can't sleep. Who closes his
laptop, puts it back in his briefcase,
and then sheepishly and surreptitiously
takes off his shoes and wiggles his toes.