Gefilte Fish – Poem by Barry Vitcov

Poetry by Barry Vitcov

Pyotr Konchalovsky – Family Portrait(Against Chinese Panel)

There are always a couple of jars of gefilte fish in the fridge
And a couple of back-up jars in the cupboard
I must alert my wife before opening one
She can’t tolerate the smell
And the plate I use must be thoroughly rinsed
Before being placed in the dishwasher
I don’t think it’s about the plate holding kosher food
Contaminating the other Christian dishes
At least I hope not

It seems that my son has inherited a distaste for this delicacy
He snickers when I have a couple smothered in horseradish
I prefer the red beet colored horseradish over the white prepared variety
With a couple of dry matzos on the side
(Which he enjoys with butter and jelly)
But his Chinese girlfriend enthusiastically tried some
Savoring it for some time
Before declaring it good
I think our cultures have quite a bit in common

I used to eat at a Chinese Muslim restaurant
The food was halal and close enough to kosher
I’ve never kept kosher but enjoy the experience
I’m not a believer in myths
I rather cherish the secular results
And Moses is the most mentioned prophet in the Quran
Unfortunately Abraham’s choices cleaved two cultures
Families are strange sometimes


Barry began writing poems and short fiction while in his early teens. He didn’t write poetry or fiction during his 40-year career in education. Since his retirement, he has been trying to recapture his ‘fictional’ voice writing haiku, longer poems, and short fiction. He has had a couple of poems published in EAP: The Magazine.

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