gloria g murray


the olive-skinned Italians
with large silver crosses hanging from their necks
bellies round in mustard-stained aprons
slice the $27 a pound corned beef and pastrami
while on the grill Hebrew National franks crackle
puffy potato or kasha knishes sizzle

the bearded rabbi’s picture hangs on the wall 
with Marilyn, the Commack High School track team
some Doo-wop groups and the first dollar ever made

we’ve gotten used  to it by now—those crosses
instead of the Star of David or golden Chai
for what does it matter?  the food is so damned good
and they won’t serve dairy with fleshig 
to keep tradition (and customers, of course) 

and they always close on the High Holy days
where they might be found 
at the track eating a sausage and pepper hero
laughing at how the Jews must be meshugge 
to pay $27 a pound for something a good lasagna 
could beat any day


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