Home > Poetry > Sabbath Solstice
Philip K. Jason
Published: Tue Oct 15 1974
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
Sabbath Solstice

In the synagogue the fathers tilt and nod,
in hum-drum chumminess confront their God,
their comrade, fussy and prone to spite,
drone in the long, low heat of Friday night.

In the kitchens of their wives, the pot
simmers lovingly all through the day
until impurities are stewed away
over the long, low heat of Friday night.

Unsubtle bottles of obvious wine
wait near the altar and the kitchen sink:
grape of devotion, gracious dinner drink,
stoking the long, low heat of Friday night.

The worried energies of centuries’ constraint,
the what goes where and when, the spread
of tapers, everlasting break of bread,
flow through the long, low heat of Friday night.

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Philip K. Jason was the editor of Poetry Lore from 1979 to 1998. The author of four books of poetry and numerous works of criticism, he is currently the Workshop Leader and Program Chair at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. (updated 6/2010)

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