Great Grandpa Saqui set in sepia The Jew is constrained
Wall-eyed pensive from a century’s nap, to flee the commotions
Lingers on an ancient book. of Ireland.
His blasted eyes brook dreaded distance,
Navigate between the darkened Liffey
And the clouded Melbourne stream,
My stem and tap-root trapped in pewter.
Mad Jew-Christ in a tipsy broughamo
Rending O’Connell Street with exiled cries
Waving a long onyx at Torquemada’s
Hibernian guard and I will go.
He said (mad he was, I repeat).
Go, and let you get on with
Your dirty business.
En route he belted Making course for the
Mendelssohn’s spring song at Victoria tropical Latitude of the
In her glass house, bowed and hurled himself Great Pacific, the Jew
(Satrap second-class) headlong at her playeth upon the organ
Far-flung province, fortified with lemons for Victoria Regina
For the old sow held his mate in nets too
Taut for even his manic importunings;
And in the turquoise furrows drowned
The northern stars in furious tears.
Claimant to Valhalla’s ranks, he took The Jew purchaseth a horse
To horse, a bellicose black jewel to in expectation of salvation
Fly around the Saxon emerald fields,
Baring his teeth, to mock the cocky
Bastard accent that had dared
To call him ‘Worrier’. And hanging
At his beck and kick a beggar-king
On fiery stilts, Jew among Cossacks,
Bounding quisling to the prayerwom ghetto;
A pair of violent uncouth coat tails
Hot upon a nag’s behind that arched
Its banner in his face and plopped the
Crumbling apples of contempt
Before his feet.
Careless of his masters, sparking off ‘Warrior’ winneth the
A thousand fires the thundering jewel Melbourne Cup, 1896
Panicked some seagulls with a windy rush
And smote apologetic aeons on the nose,
Unsettling the wavering fringes of
An aged shawl.
If small recrimination The Jew findeth not
Ever snubbed the edge of his recruitment. salvation, the penance
Nothing ever found a way to the old sow. of life falleth up on him.
Glutted with her farrow (save a line
In graceful and bizarrely cautious
Arabesques of veined ink).
Fay Zwicky was an Australian poet, short story writer, critic and academic primarily known for her autobiographical poem ‘Kaddish’, which deals with her identity as a Jewish writer.