Part water bar, part dance hall,
the old well plays its role
in romances, the Bible full
of meet-cute stories,
those dark-eyed boys,
languid in speech,
running from the cops,
or an angry father
or a passel of jealous brothers.
That buzz of girls,
we would have called them,
had they taken a turn
into old Greece
instead of hanging around
What nation would we have had then,
without the bad boys of the Bible,
without a desert God who understood
the spell of a well-placed well.
This piece is a part of the Berru Poetry Series, which supports Jewish poetry and poets on PB Daily. JBC also awards the Berru Poetry Award in memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash as a part of the National Jewish Book Awards. Click here to see the 2020 winner of the prize. If you’re interested in participating in the series, please check out the guidelines here.
Jane Yolen lives in Massachusetts and has written more than 300 books across all genres and age ranges. She has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century.