A Golem for Hanukkah

A Golem for Hanukkah

Task: Increase the magic of the holiday.

Twinkling globes punctuated
neighbors’ windows
like boldface fonts.
Green, red, blue,
adventurous purple,
all proclaiming “Christmas,
Christmas, Christmas.”

Sarah’s windows were bare.
“Hanukkah has its own lights,”
her mother said. “Eight days of lights,
eight,” she emphasized,
like the number of flying reindeer.
Sara watched tall, inflated Santas
wave on her friends’ lawns
like modern-day heroes,
and pictured marching Maccabees.

Then a low pitched, davening*
of wind blowing through bare branches
summoned an ice golem.
Before her mother chanted
the first holiday prayers,
Sara shouted, “Come see the golem,
the Hanukkah golem outside.”

Sara’s mother scolded her
for making things up,
spit into the air two times
to chase away demons.
Sarah believed the golem left her
packages that year.
She welcomed snow and sleet
sure he remained hidden under drifts.

By Tina Hacker Appeared in Listening to Night Whistles, Adlrich Press, 2014.

*Reciting Jewish prayers, swaying lightly.

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