Ben Kills Mice

We have a rental house. Tenants went upstate for a week and they sent frequent and distraught emails tracking mouse droppings. “The mouse must have been near the stove burner,” said Mr. A.Y., U.N. executive. “Once again, I have seen absolute evidence.” I left a message for Mid State Pest Control, recommended by Harry, capturer of our red winged squirrel, proprietor of Wild Life Nuisance Trap. He doesn’t catch mice. This morning Mid State Pest Control
called me back.

“Esther,” the stranger said.
“I am Ben Edelman.
Maybe
we’re mispoche
the yiddish word
for family. Are you
from Brooklyn?
Because
I really am.
Came
upstate in the 70’s.
I’m 63. What
about you? I have
a twin brother.
He stayed down there.
God knows why. Is there
a Mister Esther?
I’m divorced
by the way.
Before we
Get Started,
how can I tell
you’re really
Jewish?
Let me
give you a little
test. Here’s a prayer.
You say
the missing word.
Barach atah
adonai elohanu
melch haolam
boray pree hagafen.
AMEN
I said.
But why would
I pretend
to be Jewish
I asked.
People have done
stranger things
said Ben.

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.

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