Hashgochah Protis

Julia Horensten



my eyes teared

and slanted away

from the sun

and I wiped the salt

from my eyes

on the hot day

of a Sabbath

that stretched

to eternity

and the walk to temple

became all the more


with the whines and complaints

of friends around me

as we skirted


a flock of birds

entirely dark as night

who emerged in broad day

to pick at their fallen prey

and I wonder why


we all turn

to look

trying to figure out

if it was a raccoon

or perhaps an opossum

but later that day it rained

long and hard

but fast, unpredictable

as Florida rains may be

and on the way back

I side step

a puddle and reach

down to swirl my finger

over the frantic

tadpoles, shaking

my hand dry of the

mucky water and jogging

halfheartedly towards my friends

who later sigh in relief

at the lack of vultures

but grimace at the figure

left stripped to the bone

to be found

quite fascinating

under other circumstances

but the few stray

inky black feathers

left behind by

the satisfied hunters


are lovely in the light

of the setting sun

and I think I should

like to keep

such an image

in memory

yet not in pocket

as my hands

had been dirtied

enough by the emergence

of life, now not to be disturbed

by the end of another.



Julia Horensten is currently an English major at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.