Poem | This Summer Day

(Fakhri Labib/Unsplash)

How we know nothing— 
have no control over what’s to come.  

Our Father in Heaven is kind, 
but will He be kind the way we want Him to be? 

So much could happen, 
though, month after month, nothing does.  

One day, the children will be grown.
Hopefully, some pride  

to go along with the regrets.  
Some sun, as on this summer day: 

The kids swim outside in the plastic pool.  
Our oldest daughter overseas with your parents. 

You, in a dark top and turquoise skirt, 
run your hand over the surface of the water.  

How you have remained beautiful 
over these fourteen years, 

beautiful and optimistic, despite 
the nights in the small apartment  

with great fears, carrying cups of water 
to four sleepless children  

as I commuted across the bridge to teach another section
of English Composition at the night college.

How the world gets larger 

and smaller—like the moon,
each month—

larger and smaller.  

Published in the September 2022 issue: 

Yehoshua November is the author of two poetry collections, God’s Optimism (a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize) and Two Worlds Exist (a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and Paterson Poetry Prize). His work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Anglican Theological Review, the Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review, and on National Public Radio and On Being’s Poetry Unbound series. He has been called “one of the few Hasidic poets.”

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