Annie Jacobs


In Jaffa’s streets
and dark promenade
Mahdi the old man
with a sea-formed face
gave me cactus fruits
fresh fish and coffee. In
Hebrew he told me how
to cook the fish, on a low
flame with a little flour
and an onion he supplied.

When Ramadan arrived
the alleys lit green
children ran like smoke
sweets and meat seeped
from homes. I moved
through colors swiftly
to not fade them, to not
be afraid, to the balcony
where I could see
so many lives
and the sea
and not be seen.
Through an open
window in a Jerusalem flat or
from the small balcony
covered in plants: people
snaking along the street.
I could easily walk to
the silent stone steps
of the Old City
where cats and a boy
eating braided bread
made sounds like
rain drops in a tin.

In this Jerusalem flat
a new friend
with a smile
like my mother’s
wears a parakeet
perched on her head.
She is no less loving to me
than God would be.


Annie Jacobs writes in an effort to translate her involvement with the world. She recently called a kibbutz in the Negev Desert home while working for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. Annie was also recently a staff-artist at the Vermont Studio Center where she coordinated the Writing Program. She was a 2012 poetry fellow at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. Her poems, essays, interviews, and drawings have been published in Whole Terrain, the Arava Review, and Gender Across Borders.




Back to Table of Contents