The old man and I sit on the porch- -

It is Indian summer and the weather

lures us with our books outside.

And the madness of the season

makes me stop the lesson of Bereisheit

with- -"Rebbe, what do you think of Darwin?"

The rabbi of the "Kippele" shul knows no English- -

we discuss the Bible in Mamme-loshen.

And what has he read

that he should know of "The Origin of Species"

So he asks me to explain- -and I do- -

in my most grown up eleven year old tone- -

about the apes, the jungle, survival

of the fittest.

It is eleven years since the Holocaust.

In the twilight he is silent, rocking

very slightly as he arranges his decision.

"Bobbe Meisses," he says, and I nod,

suddenly in revelation.

"You learn what you must for school

but of course no one can really

believe in such stories."


From Ignorant Armies