Rubber, or: Glue

My 1st rhyming sestina

Some people don't like the word Jew 
A label that fits me like comfy shoe 
Jews were murdered and made into glue 
Regarded as less than beasts at a zoo 
Blamed for both the plague and the flu 
In the end, though, it's the haters who stew 

Jewish cholent is a magical stew
If you'd like some, just befriend a Jew 
It can cure both COVID and the flu
And when it spills, it won't stain your shoe
Come, let's pack some for a trip to the zoo
Food and family bind us like glue

From true history we cannot unglue
All began with primordial stew
We all got here by way of the zoo
European; African; Jew
Mortality fits us all like a shoe
And we die of the very same flus

There are always new strains of the flu
Viruses to human cell membranes glue
Vaccines help but cannot fully shoe
We are but chunks of meat in this stew
Asian; South American; Jew
Are we destined to live as if in a zoo?

It takes a great deal to get me zooed
I don't suffer much from brown bottle flu
My friends joke that I'm a Russian Jew
I reply that I'm rubber, they're glue
And we laugh over hearty Jew stew
The secret ingredient's sole of shoe

In the heat, men buzzing flies shoo
But not so those beasts at the zoo
Nor are they wont to sit and stew
Every species has its own flu 
DNA is a powerful glue 
Oceanian; North American; Jew 

Some racists claim diplomatic flu
When accused, they stand as if glued
Much abashed by this very proud Jew


  • My initial intentions in writing this poem were:
    1. Write a sestina that rhymes
    2. Write a poem about antisemitism
  • I deliberately used the word ‘Jew’ as one of the rhyming words; the other five words that rhymed with ‘Jew’ were picked at random.

61 thoughts on “Rubber, or: Glue”

  1. As Ingrid says, it was ‘deadly serious but frivolously fun at the same time’. I think that is typical of Jewish humour? Fabulous poem, David!

    1. Lesley, thank you ❤

      You know, I actually have no idea about Jewish humor… I mean… famous Jewish comedians range from Andy Kaufman to George Burns to Woody Allen to Roseann Barr to Jerry Seinfeld to Sarah Silverman… and dozens more… Is there something that typifies them all? 🤷

      1. Ooo, I’m not sure, David. Maybe I’ve just got ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ stuck in my head. 😀 I need to give this some thought as to how this became my perception.

  2. This was somehow deadly serious and frivolously fun at the same time. Is there a Hebrew word for ‘hats off to you?’ I would very much like to say it!

          1. I had to look that up as we don’t use Cyrillic in Slovenia. I can now say ‘enako!’

  3. I’am glum and dumbfounded ! My eyes are glued on your poem and I couldn’t take it off !! This poem has some juice in it 👍🤝

  4. Excellent!! I’m impressed because doing the monorhyme is not the easiest way to do a sestina!! Also your topic is a difficult one as well. This is such a divergence from your usual Tanka/Haiku-esque style – I’m very stuck on this effort…

  5. Dear David,

    “In the end, though, it’s the haters who stew.” LOL. So true. Love the wit, the rhymer and the sestina humor. 🤗

    Peace to you, and multiple roses,
    Dora 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

          1. David, More than one of course! Never mind. Give her this 💐 for her joyful inspiration to your verse. 💝

  6. I love your rhyming verses David. You did a wonderful job. You could illustrate those verses and write a story for your children to enjoy. :>)

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