Autum­n’s Grey and Melan­choly, Hen­ry Far­rer, 1884

The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art Har­ris Bris­bane Dick Fund, 1917

In Shtetl Life three men,

peak capped, seem to ponder

the grey­ness of everything.

How to hide a grey horse

in a tiny grey roofed barn,

how to tell one grey tree

it will soon burn. That maybe

they imag­ined God wrong.

That behind his grey beard

is a being as frightened

as every­one when the pogroms

come and a child won­ders how

between a thumb and forefinger

she can hold onto the grey­ing moon.

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.

Orig­i­nal­ly from Mon­tre­al, Babo Kamel’s work is pub­lished in reviews such as Greens­boro Review, Paint­ed Bride Quar­ter­ly, CV2, Poet Lore, and Best Cana­di­an Poet­ry 2020. She is a Best of Net nom­i­nee, and a six-time Push­cart nom­i­nee, Her chap­book, After, is pub­lished with Fin­ish­ing Line Press. Find her at: babokamel​.com