Lessons from My Mother
My mother told me, Stay with your own kind.
We Jews think alike; we’re all of one mind.
But those limitations I could not abide.
I had my own values; I had my pride.
So among the many choices of Jews in town,
a Catholic and Protestant is what I found
to be my best friends forever and ever.
They were smart, loyal, extremely clever.
The girls were not snobs and put on no airs
unlike Jewish princesses with teased hair.
They cared not for status in the right crowd.
Though Mother pressured me I would not be cowed.
Birds of a feather flock together, she’d state.
Without Jewish friends you don’t have the bait
to find a Jewish husband which you must do
and keep our lineage pure and true.
But Mother, I said, I’m only thirteen.
It doesn’t matter now with whom I am seen.
Then she got perfectly serious and blunt:
You’re never too young to be on the hunt.
A doctor, a lawyer, an Indian chief,
as long as he’s Jewish; now don’t give me grief.
But grief was hers with pain and many tears
while I dated Irishmen for twenty years.
You never listen, my mother told me,
Poor and Christian is what you’ll turn out to be.
But when I heard my biological clock tick
I turned to a Jewish service to have a pick.
I found me a man good, kind and true
and together a baby boy we grew
with lineage that goes back to Moses.
Thus my history with Gentile guys closes.