Sunday, June 3, 2007

Turkish Bath by Ed Galing

Turkish Bath

one of the enjoyments of
jewish life on the lower
east side,
the turkish bath--

there was a saying,
if you could last in
the turkish bath,
you are a real man...

the baths were red hot,
steam coming in the
damp enclosed room, that
turned the room into a dark
and you could hardly see
where you were, or who was in
the room with you,

the water was scalding,
but good...
and there were those
wooden benches, we
sat on,
it was called the
Schvitz, and even the
name sounds like something
really hot, as it was,

old men would sit
on the benches naked
maybe a towel around their

pot bellies, wrinkles
bare feet and
smell of fish,
while the clouds mercifully
surrounded all of us,
and we would talk about the
talk about the old country,
israel, and maybe even a bit
of the talmud was discussed here...

it was cheap... one dollar...
this all means schvitz could make
you or break always
came out of there feeling like
a new man...your sins all washed

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