When You Treat Me Like You

When you ask me where to find candles
just assuming I must know
my heart expands, relaxing
my eyes well with tears
simply because you counted me among your own

When you tell me “Good Shabbos”
casually as you walk by
just assuming I celebrate it
not asking me if I can break it for you
my smile widens

When you try to pass the wine bottle to me
even though its awkward and I demurr
I smile inwardly because you forgot
I blended into your world so well
it never occurred to you to ask

When I can sit, unnoticed and accepted
there is a quiet kind of peace
no justifications needed, no explanations asked
I finally feel like me
the Jewess I’ve been inside

I hold my breath as you approach
afraid you’ll ask me where I grew up or who I’m related to
not because I’m ashamed or trying to hide
because I don’t want the clock to strike midnight just yet
or this magical moment to be broken

I want to linger here just a bit longer
before the questions come and I become unusual
I want to breathe in this space just a little more
where who I was no longer matters
and who I am is all I need to be

One thought on “When You Treat Me Like You

  1. the way you write is so beautiful. I can find yourself in your words, how much I would love to just be “one of us” and not the outsider. I wish they knew how important it is, just to treat people like everyone else, how much it matters.
    I converted years ago, but partially because my conversion is kind of questionable and partially because I just never was treated like a Jew/accepted into the Jewish community, I still feel like an outsider. And the moments when I travel or meet visitors who don’t know my story it just feels so good when people assume I’m just a regular Jew, even for a moment.
    I wish the clock didn’t always have to strike midnight.


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