Chaya Lester

I wept at the shuk this morning

Photo by Chaya Lester
Photo by Chaya Lester

I admit, I wept

At the shuk this morning
Talking to the fruit seller
About the weather
and the cucumbers
…and the war
It wasn’t empty today, like the past 2 days
It was tentative, post-rain, pensive
More expensive
There are shortages already, you know
The grapes for 9 shekel a kilo
Are now 25
No milk in the makolet
…the costs of lives on the line
The Arab workers are nowhere to be found
And believe me, I checked…
I ask the fruit seller
Where they are
He says most likely on lock-down
On the other side of town
And there’s that familiar cocktail
Of feelings going down
Of colossal relief and the grief
The nagging guilt, the utter disbelief
Glad they are on lock down
Sad they are on lock down
I mean, what would my progressive friends think
To hear me speak
My truth
That this morning I would rather have a Jew
Selling me fruit…
Because the truth of truths
Is that we must do what we must do
To protect ourselves.
Sorry not sorry
In the face of this bitter brutal story
Sorry not sorry…
for the lockdown on the other side of town
And for everything that is about to go down…
…about to go down…
And that’s when the tears started
And the fruit seller stopped his packing
and gave me a persimmon
and a tender look
Like an older brother would
And I asked him how his family is
And he asked me about mine
His family, my family.
Our families
Our families are strong
Our families
Are fine…
About the Author
Psychotherapist, inspirational speaker, wordsmith, performance artist & Co-Director of Jerusalem's Shalev Center. Chaya lives in the heart of Jerusalem with her husband R'Hillel & their 4 energetic children. Read more pieces like this in real-life book form:
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