Gershon Hepner

An Alter Kakker Reminisces about Bobolinks

Bar-tailed godwits non-stop fly,

Alaska to the South Pacific,

curlews with a bristled thigh

fly as far, and this terrific

distance by the Arctic tern

is almost matched. The marathon

they fly would be amazing for

all humans, who depend upon

their cars, mere little walks a bore

for all except the Orthodox,

observing Sabbath’s strenuous rules,

walking with their shoes and socks

on Shabbos mornings to the shuls —

instead of socks, most ladies wear

fine stockings or else pantyhose,

a detail there’s no need to share,

although I do this, I suppose! —

and later may walk to their friends

to share their kugel and their cholent,

the sort of food that sometimes sends

them for advice that isn’t cool, ent-

erologically advised

to eat more healthy food and try

to walk and run, less exercised

than bar-tailed godwits in the sky,

because inside their cars they stay,

to all their destinations driven,

except on Shabbos, when they pray,

while weekday driving is forgiven

if they’re lucky. Some are not,

and may require shunts in hearts,

for coronaries tend to clot

in people who, like shopping carts,

are rolled around, and do not ex-

cercise like curlews or a tern

or bar-tailed godwits. Jewish texts,

taught now in YU and in Stern,

provide the world with answers to

the epidemic that affects

all people who don’t walk. Do you?
If not, do contact Jewish sects,

and practice every Shabbos walking,

just like a migratory bird

try singing, too, and give up talking

in shul, which really is absurd

if you are going there to pray.

You might as well step in your car

and drive, although less far away

than birds which really travel far,

most notably the bobolink,

songbird reminding me of Linda,

my wife, whose bobbamayses link

two alte kakkers to grand-kinder.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at