Inside the book are many books.
My husband leans into his workbench, sands wood.
He drills perpendicular to the wood,
making holes for pins.
He hasn’t unpacked his suitcase yet,
which lies open on our bedroom floor.
Rabbi Yishmael taught acceptance.
In the books lie contradictions
which are answers
and those answers are questions
with answers in other books.
A familiar voice is saying to me, Come sit on the couch,
let’s watch something.
I know if I mention the suitcase he will pick it up
and place it in his study, which
is filled with papers and suitcases and boxes.
Books sit solid on the shelves.
The questions they hold are silent.
Rabbi Akiva taught to embrace restraint.
Then someone tried to help. Fun, they said.
I didn’t understand and asked, What do you mean?
They clarified: Just have fun!
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.
Eve Grubin is the author of Morning Prayer (Sheep Meadow Press) and The House of Our First Loving (Rack Press). She is a lecturer at NYU in London and a tutor at the Poetry School.