B.E. Kahn was honored, as a previously published poet in Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, to have her work appear in the current , 21st Anniversary Issue,  in the company of such well known poets, writers as Alicia Ostriker, Alana Suskin, Irena Klepfisz , Helena Lipstadt and Laura Markowitz and many others. All were invited to correspond  with another previous contributor to the journal and to submit several poems and thoughts on Judaism, Israel, Feminism. B.E. Kahn and Elaine Batcher, of Canada, chose one another and their conversation ensued.  Vol.16, No 1  is the culminating print edition of Bridges. Plans for an online version are being sifted.

Some praise for the issue:
“This anniversary issue offers a unique format, bringing together past contributors in vibrant conversations ranging from the personal to the political and everything in between. With this issue, Bridges will continue to carry us forward.”
Evelyn Torton Beck

Bridges Has presented the best of Jewish Feminist creativity, insight, outrage, and collectivity for 21 years—always teaching, always inspiring, always forcing me to grow.”
Lawrence Bush, Editor, Jewish Currents

One of four of B.E. Kahn’s poems included in this issue:
A Train
A train to the Lithuanian border near skittles my father 
who’d just deserted the Czar’s army, conscript, eighteen, 
Jew hidden under the floor-length full skirt of a passenger. 
No tall tale this, his escape from soldiers who checked  

for runaways like him, terror sewn to his cap’s visor. A stoic 
woman beckoned as shield. Breath held and heartbeat skipped.

Beneath the woman’s skirt, he recalled in fast-reverse 
his comrade napping on duty. My father seized that gift, fled
the camp through the back of the tent which he, a tailor,
basted from outside to erase exit’s gap. Short, slim and fleet—

he ran through beloved birch forests and town to the station. 
Steps not pre-planned, the sole train of thought—free October light. 

A train in Germany, boxcars dark, airless—herded humans 
living-hell-bound.  Barely alive, like dressmaker manikins—
not a stitch of extra with them—only the hair on their heads
and that, a temporary wealth. A train of zero destination.

“A” Train  the elegant Duke composes and thousands board its cars   
packed full of hope’s riffs—blue work days, nights played

with horn and key that try to jazz away the taste of strange fruit.
The hum of track drills into shoulders, tired and lifted.
Hair-raising, the truth of whipstitched lives song-and-shoestring-
danced-through, a threadbare patch quilt catching as catch can.
A train.

Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal

Copyright 2010