In the synagogue the fathers tilt and nod,
in hum-drum chumminess confront their God,
their comrade, fussy and prone to spite,
drone in the long, low heat of Friday night.
In the kitchens of their wives, the pot
simmers lovingly all through the day
until impurities are stewed away
over the long, low heat of Friday night.
Unsubtle bottles of obvious wine
wait near the altar and the kitchen sink:
grape of devotion, gracious dinner drink,
stoking the long, low heat of Friday night.
The worried energies of centuries’ constraint,
the what goes where and when, the spread
of tapers, everlasting break of bread,
flow through the long, low heat of Friday night.
Philip K. Jason has been waiting to see his poems in print for more than a year. He has previously been published in such places as Commonweal and The Mediterranean Review. (Fall 1974)