Ophir J. Bitton
There is a book with no pages or words, Its illustrations are windows, some looking out, Others revealing what is within Some of the pages are torn, smudged and incomplete Yet prose, poetry, humor, philosophy, and wisdom are scribed on each sheet Raw and simple, yet inexplicably deep and complex The chapters do not segue one into the other They bare no names or numbers Yet there is no introduction It starts at the intersection of an unexpected lesson and a realization And if you read it as instructed and pass on its lessons, It never ends It transcends beyond the author As if it has a soul that binds to the reader Without studying and sometimes without paying attention at all You may recite its verses or follow its examples, Inexplicably, you may leave sunshine behind a door for others to find on a Sunday morning You might fill your home with music and the dance of children or offer and insist and persuade to give all of yourself, You may find yourself wearing a knitted cap and brewing eucalyptus to fight a cold, and You might find yourself feeding turtles and your grandchildren’s minds with a toss of old bread This book is love, and it touches and lifts and screams of devotion, But it is so quiet, so subtle, like the squirrel that took one bite from each fruit of each tree and daftly eluded capture. Filled with lessons, whimsy, idiosyncrasies, unselfish wisdom, and examples upon examples of love, It takes up no room, collects no dust, and is filled with hundreds of bookmarks so you, the reader, the loved disciple of the author, will never lose your place. This is the gift of the invisible book.
Ophir Jacob Bitton was born in Israel to Moroccan parents. He immigrated to the United States in 1978 as a child. He writes about Jewish spirituality, culture, family life, nature and social justice issues he experiences as an attorney. He has self-published a collection of poetry written about his courtship of his wife (Becoming Eyes, Aventine Press 2008), and his poetry has recently been published in the Jewish Literary Journal and Poetica Magazine.
This poem is so special to our family! Thank you Ophir <3