Mrs. Schwartz

By Mary Jane Hurley Brant

I had a Harley boyfriend
who owned a thoroughbred horse.
He was a Jewish cowboy;
his name was
Stephen Schwartz.

He was tall and strikingly handsome,
dark and Temple University hot.
My mother said, “Mary Jane, he’s happy,
I like this city cowboy,
a lot.”
But his mother said - on the other hand –
“Steven, absolutely not!”

Yes, Mrs. Schwartz was straight forward,
quickly easing my feelings you see,
because she invited me, cordially,
“Come over, young lady, for tea.”

We smiled at one other warmly,
in her Philly living room painted green,
that's when Mrs. Schwartz spoke up casually
and introduced a slightly unexpected theme.

“It’s really not about you, dear,
as she poured my hot Tetley Tea;
you’re just not a Jewish girl, my darling,
I hope you understand and can see.”

I really didn’t know anything
back then
so young at ten plus ten.
“What’s the problem?” I asked sweetly, softly,
“Did I unknowingly, accidently offend?”

“No, dear, it’s just a small issue
unless you can truly say
you’ll be willing to gladly turn Jewish
then you’re more then welcome to stay.”

As I look back over my shoulder
two score and five years ago,
offspring learned rules for their culture -
it prohibited them dating
master or miss so and so.