The Golem of Prague
Beside the river was I crafted,
packed and molded of mud, a blind child’s
imitation of man. A word
woke me, bound me.
I tell you (my mouth unmoving)
this is no tale of hubris:
my feet of clay have no more of the corpse
than Adam did, before breath
summoned breath. No mad fool stitched me,
nor did the Rabbi wish to be divine.
This I learned: G-d was alone, so he made man.
The people were alone, so they made me,
breathed life, for a time, that I might
take life in their defense.
Why should they weep that I am
what they dreamed? This is the secret:
the crafter gives a portion of himself. Soon the Rabbi
will return, and wipe one letter clear.
Though I fear the silence, I will answer his call.
The last of my breath will return to him.
And when the last of creation falls,
who will then be made whole?
Israel Wasserstein, a Lecturer in English at Washburn University, was born and raised on the Great Plains. His first poetry collection, This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, was published by Woodley Press in 2012.
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