Poem: Kosher Pickle by Mark Tulin

Image attribution:ChildofMidnight


It felt good to be in a Jewish deli.

I haven’t been to one since

I left my tribe

and headed to L.A.

A man behind the glass case

wearing a Dodger’s cap

took my number.

I selected prune hamantash

and babka,

a container of coleslaw,

several matzo balls

that I planned to drop

into my chicken soup.

Make it a pound of pastrami,


Let me have a large rye


and another container

of chopped liver.

I imagined building

the tallest, thickest sandwich

oozing with dark mustard

and a Kosher pickle

on the side.

When I said Kosher,

I realized I had become Jewish


My identity had returned

at Canter’s Deli

inside a pastrami sandwich.


Author, poet, short story writer from Santa Barbara, California. I write about a variety of topics, from my early childhood in Philadelphia, to my years as a family therapist, and finally to my soul-searching present in California. These are narratives that may have a humorous or serious content or both. Either way, I hope my poetry and stories resonate with you.

9 comments on “Poem: Kosher Pickle by Mark Tulin

  1. Oh, very enjoyable poem and thoughtful. Aren’t our senses such fantastic memory banks. A little trigger and off we are. All the way back.

  2. The sensorial memories never fade😊

  3. This is so real…and pleasing to the soul!

  4. Pastrami please! OM 😊😊😊😊Gosh! I haven’t had a good pastrami sandwich in years.

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