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DELAWARE POETRY REVIEW
Tom Mandel
Poems

DAY

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TWO

DAY

A rabbi asks his students:
It’s his birthday, September 12th
he is talking to himself
“How do you know the exact moment
of dawn – when night is over and day begins?”
“what now?”
he asks
“Is it when you can tell an olive tree
from a fig tree at a distance?”
asks a student. No.
“I am at a banquet”
he tells himself, “time passes”
“Is it when you can tell a goat
from a sheep at a distance?”
another student asks. No.
“But why does time pass?”
he wonders
“Is it when you are able to read
‘exit’ in place of ‘enter’ on the
prison door?” Not even then.
“always remember pain”
he counsels himself
“Day comes when you see
the faces, bearded, shrouded,
on CNN, that they are
“that way
when it comes
your brothers and sisters”
the rabbi says.
Until then it is night.”
you may be allowed
to remember the banquet”

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To Top

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TWO
for Tom Raworth

1. Letter to Tom.

You two share much

You strapped to the prow

You down in the hold

You wrapped to the box of goods


2. Two Women

In the silence of a new road, a new car
in unseasonable warmth

When we look closer each is different.
We pass a roadside sign

‘Do you want roses my love?’

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About the Poet
Tom Mandel grew up in Chicago and was educated in its jazz and blues clubs and at the University of Chicago. He has published poetry and criticism in dozens of newspapers, literary magazines and anthologies and has read and taught poetry around the world. Tom is the author of a dozen books, including To the Cognoscenti, published in 2007.
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