Lyn Lifshin

Being Jewish in a Small Town

someone writes kike on
the blackboard and the
“k’s” pull thru the
chalk, stick in my

plump pale thighs.
Even after the high
school burns down the
word is written in

the ashes. My under
pants’ elastic snaps
on Main St because
I can’t go to

Pilgrim Fellowship.
I’m the one Jewish girl
in town but the 4
Cohen brothers

want blond hair
blowing from their
car. They don’t know
my black braids

smell of almond.
I wear my clothes
loose so no one
dreams who I am,

will never know
Hebrew, keep a
Christmas tree in
my drawer. In

the dark, my fingers
could be the menorah
that pulls you toward
honey in the snow

Lyn Lifshin’s ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME was just published by Black Sparrow at David Godine October, 2006.  It has been selected for the 2007 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence for previous finalists of the Paterson Poetry Prize. (ORDER@GODINE.COM ).  Also out in 2006 is her prize winning book about the famous, short lived beautiful race horse, Ruffian: THE LICORICE DAUGHTER: MY YEAR WITH RUFFIAN from TEXAS REVIEW PRESS.  Other of Lifshin’s recent prizewinning books include BEFORE IT’S LIGHT published winter 1999-2000 by Black Sparrow press, following their publication of COLD COMFORT in 1997.  Other recently published books and chap books include: IN MIRRORS from Presa Press and UPSTATE: AN UNFINISHED STORY from Foot Hills and THE DAUGHTER I DON’T HAVE from Plan B Press.  For interviews, photographs, more bio material, reviews, interviews, prose, samples of work and more, her web site is