The Aristocratic Shabbes Bride

The Aristrocratic Shabbes Bride

She arrives on Friday evening
as if for a wedding
– do we imagine her?
dressed in white
the jewels the train of the bride
the costuming
where’d she get that dress?

We do.
We do imagine her,
We sing her a wedding song
the wedding party
we anticipate her as the sun
makes its way home in the west.

We dress nicely for her
[it’s a wedding]
In white wool
cool
in the summer
warm in the winter
the way wool holds the body heat
wool made from sheep ordinarily
could be made from rabbits I guess
Angora
or Cashmere
made from goats,

I suppose you could make wool from any furry creature
but not that greasy cat that lives in my basement
wool from sheep from sheep
sheep’s wool has scales that overlap
like shingles on a roof,

Not wool taken from sheep produced for meat
typically more coarse
merino wool, nice, very fine
moths love it.

Irreverant to describe the mystical bride
this way
it’s just —
I am seeing her as I write this
and the wool is
fine, fine
super-fine.

The wool is clean white long fine
and free of defects
that alone would be worthy of a proper welcome
especially from someone like James Joyce
or Dylan Thomas or Sylvia Plath who wrote poetry and
wore wool, scratchy, smelling like tobacco.
None of them would think that the whole Shabbes bride
imagery was a lot of hooey
I guarantee it
they would go deep to it
for its beauty in language and form
and for its wool that they wore every day,
greeting her or not.

Wool has greater crimp,
crimp –
the number of bends per unit length along the wool fiber
a fine wool like merino may have up to a hundred crimps an inch
wool fabrics have great bulk and retain air
which causes WOOL to retain heat.
It works both ways
how to understand that?

Bedouins of the great deserts and Tuaregs wear wool
to keep the heat out.
I saw this myself in the Sinai
my Bedouin driver wore wool sweaters buttoned up in 120 degree heat.
He didn’t sweat into the wool either.
Well, gotta go –
The sun is skating down her dress the last of its rays
she is looking for us
it’s time to welcome her this way:
Come my beloved
let us greet her
forget about what she’s wearing
sing the wedding poem:

Lecha Dodi likrat kalah
p’nai Shabbat n’kabbelah.

Here she comes
the Bride
check out the wool
it’s fine white
well crimped
can’t make out the details
only this:

God
come looking for
God.

jsg, usa