Issue > Poetry
Jack Israel

Jack Israel

Jack Israel has published poems in various places over the years, including American Poetry Review, the Beloit Poetry Journal, River City and others. He's also half the blogging team of Yaakov Murchadha. He works as a tax director at a large leasing company.

Mennonite Funeral

The church is a bare room with pews,
No carved wood or colored glass, no cross.
The pastor speaks a few soft words
And leads a much-beloved hymn—
"Believe on the Son," not in,
As if faith has mass and weight.

At the graveyard, a few steps away,
We pray but interment is delayed.
The casket's caught on an iron stave
So a nimble man in mechanic's khaki
Straddles the grave and kicks backward.
Helplessly we look away.

It's a long view through pale sunlight,
Distance softened over the farmland plain.