- My Daughter at Three Asks if God is a He
At three, she asked, Is God a he?—and the tremors spawned in innocence shook heaven to its core.
At four, my daughter thoughtif you remove a penis from a boy, pull it
down around his feetso he can step from it like pants, you will find his labia.
Paint a mustache on a girl,dressed like a doll, and she, voilà, becomes a man. [End Page 26]
At five, my daughter thoughtthat even God—no male of males, no greybeard savior—
cannot decide what sex to beor how to spare the heart its pain.
Native New Yorker Steven Sher recently returned "home" after 25 years in Oregon and other far-flung Jewish communities. These days he davens/learns in a Hasidic shtibel on the Upper West Side and teaches (writing) at Yeshiva University as well as poetry workshops for The Luz Academy for Jewish Writing and Poets House. He is the author of ten books with a new poetry collection forthcoming in 2007 from Red Heifer Press. His work has appeared recently in publications such as Confrontation, Congress Monthly, European Judaism, The Jerusalem Review, Kerem, Prairie Schooner, Solo, Tiferet, and Witness.