From the Book of Common Thoughts and Prayers by David R. Forman

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

Moloch, take these children in your fire
who in yesterday’s bathroom mirror faced the abyss,
of the boy who will not say how he feels,
of the chem teacher who calls on them too much,
or not at all. One found a pimple and thought
her life was over, and today it is.
One won a tournament, and thought,
“I can die now,” and now she has.

We offer the wails of parents for our hymns
the ammunition clip our scripture portion.
Moloch, whose name is money, when we say
"Freedom" we mean only you. When we say
‘"Jesus," this too is your secret name. We sing,
"America, America, God shed his sling saddle
shoulder mount on thee," God shed.

Photo of David Forman by  Gerry Szymanski

Photo of David Forman by
Gerry Szymanski

David R. Forman worked as a calligrapher and as a college teacher before returning to his early love of writing. His poems have appeared in The Bakery, Cimarron Review, Decades Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Houses and elsewhere. He lives in Ithaca, NY. In addition to writing poetry, he is a student of the Yiddish language. The Clever Little Tailor, his translation of Solomon Simon’s children’s book Dos kluge shnayderl, will be published by Kinderloshn in 2019.