Unstressed syllables in their bucolic straw hats
Lounge on the verandahs of their lines
Unable to govern words but enunciating
Perfect ers and uhs and summer schwas
Toward the bright emphasis from which they’re sheltered, smoking
What seem like tiny unwritten Torah cheroots.
Isaac Rosenberg’s hats in his few self-portraits
Suggest his sense of damaged identity
Somewhere between Jew, Englishman, and rake—
But these Jewish Southerners know how to loll
Unable to distill an Absalom from a Joab
Or to tell who has set fire to whose field.
The sickles and the scythes, the Er’s of labor,
Lying like baubles on the wry l’d porch
Make the sound l’d, l’d, to express their freedom,
They ornament the seasons of summation
With sacred Sabbath chain-link tubs and stubble.
Who knew that Jubilee would so burgeon us?
-- Jim Dolot
[Author's note: The title is the lower case letter l (el) followed by apostrophe and d.]