Clandestine, a poem by Rebecca Herz at
Sharon McCutcheon



written by: Rebecca Herz



no one had to know, yet somehow people knew
random friend of her mother would approach

in the local shops wishing her mazel tov
in the most kosher places and other forbidden

spaces they’d approach her smiling.
It was almost worse to receive congratulations

because one never knew whether or not
they were genuine. It was not the worst

it was not the best living in her hometown
surrounded by her angels and demons

the familiar infrastructure. Her parents’ house
from which the news eventually spread like a plague

through the city. People knew and didn’t know
what drew her to this life in the shadows

in another time with the same people
she would have been exiled or shut down

in another time with the same people
she might have been hidden away like rapunzel

in the tower of religion cursed
for her impunity, just for loving me

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