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 As the plane lands
 a young man in the aisle
 wraps tefillin bands round his left arm
 up to the elbow
 pulls them to a small box
 over his forehead
 his head damp
 as he leans into prayer.
 I watch him rock as the plane descends
 his eyes closed
 his mouth tracing words
 I cannot heal

 I mumble thoughts he cannot hear, I ask:
 How do I avoid the story of my family?
 What I mean is:
 How do I stay clear of memories
 passed back and forth
 over the holiday table
 served into gossip
 simmered into tempers
 boiled into scalding disappointments.
 I pray I can leave this baggage behind.

NOTE: Poet Rochelle Mass lives in Israel
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Author:Mass, Rochelle
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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