The Unnamed
by Bill Freedman

(to Paul and Miriam on the birth of their son)

Imagine a swaddled newborn suspended among stars,
lighting a path through the sea,
as though the Jews were heading out again.
this time at night, and called for torches.
It looks as much like a half moon
as anything I can think of,
and though we can’t stop chattering,
the lakes and hills are silent in its presence.

Whoever we are, we’re all Jews here,
looking for the way home,
and who’s to say this isn’t
the soft palimpsest of light we’re looking for.
I’m not saying you should call him Moon.
But if you approach it as he does,
pointing, looking up, mouth a little open
in small amazement, you won’t miss.
Like the sun, as it moves on,
flooding all these bending distances can take
to hint at origins,
identify a shape,
engrave with brightness what is there,
as with a name.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 1.

Bill Freedman is Professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Haifa, Israel, and a teaching advisor to the English Department at the Sakhnin College for Teacher Education. He has published books on Lawrence Sterne and Edgar Allan Poe, an oral history of baseball fans and several dozen essays on literary criticism and theory in Novel, Modern Fiction Studies, JAAC, The British Journal of Aesthetics, Studies in English Literature, The Psychoanalytic Review, and elsewhere. He has also published two books of poetry and poetry in a number of literary magazines and journals.

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