Life Ordeals

Being Single

By R. Rosenfeld

Being lonely in a way that friends cannot cure.
Being pitied for the lack of love a single must endure.

Being greatly frustrated, yearning for a touch.
Being in a pent-up state, feelings twist so much.

Being humbled by the knowledge people think there’s something wrong.
Being unable to speak the truth, needing to be strong.

Being thankful for the freedom that courses through your life.
Being ready to abandon it, to be somebody’s wife.

Being analyzed by experts abounding all around you.
Being interviewed by people who clearly have no clue.

Being told you’re understood from a comfortable mile
Being patted as a child and told to pray again and smile.

Being deemed as wonderful, when they are on your side.
Being judged as picky, when their feelings for you slide.

Being grateful for the help and the kindnesses of strangers.
Being wary of the odd ones, the rudeness and the dangers.

Being good if it kills you, praying all the time.
Being guilt-ridden for the deals with G-d that occupy your mind.

Being very sorrowful for every little sin.
Being sure that is the reason for the mess that you are in.

Being foolish to envision what his name sounds like with yours.
Being silly, thinking he’s “the one”, before he’s reached your door.

Being wanted by the men who have nothing good to say.
Being shunned by those you cared about in a special way.

Being wistful, for the way you met would’ve made a great story.
Being sobered by reality, shedding fantasies and glory.

Being drained by constant waiting, for the calls and the okays.
Being worn by cancellations, the false hopes and the delays.

Being happy for the young brides, but more so for the older.
Being warmed by hope and joy, though the fear in you grows colder.

Being worried of the future and all it may portend.
Being heedful of the nearing time when fertility will end.

Being cheerful as you can be, you can’t let the heartache show.
Being mindful of one’s parents and the pain that they must know.

Being bolder than you want to be, to get yourself a date.
Being subject to rejection, being told its just your fate.

Being social, making calls, sticking to the plan.
Being a full-timer in the job to find your man.

Being hopeful for the day, for the night has been too long.
Being sure that G-d will one day, transform your tears to song.

Being single, working hard at staying out of trouble.
Being single for now – till one day “being double”.

R. Rosenfeld is a writer and poet. This poem was originally published in the spring 2000 issue of Jewish Action. The author can be reached at

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