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Poets G 

Goldbarth

Dime Call
by Albert Goldbarth

Dead Jews, dead Jews, just points now an underground
telephone cable runs through. When I dial my
father up, his father, long gone, jolts in the
earth between us. Picture an archaeologist,
unaware of that skeleton shocked to
life by my dime call. But

I believe the fathers have something
to say. And I believe
in the archaeologist, ear to ground
and eye sun-thin
through his lens, translating the many
dead tongues.

Like the phone
on the wall, black box
with its message . . . I'm going
to tie these phylacteries
till my head rings,
till they tell me.

From A Lineage of Ragpickers, Songpluckers, Elegiasts & Jewelers: Selected Poems of Jewish Family Life 19731995 by Albert Goldbarth. Copyright 1996 by Time Being Books. Reprinted courtesy of Time Being Press.

 

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