We had needed the mulch, so we lifted her carefully
with a rake handle and carried her to the warm grass
where she lay waiting for Spring. It was late April
and the snake was curled along the bag
waiting for sun to slice through the shed
windows and warm her sluggish blood.
When we looked for her again, she was gone.
The man who taught me
hummus secrets opened his restaurant.
My daughter and I are having dinner.
He remembers me and prepares for us
two heaping plates of Lebanese specialties.
We sense his joy at having a place.
This young woman is somehow connected
to an infant I carried in a sling through
the sticky evenings of her first August. We’d walk
to the convenience store. I’d buy an ice cream,
rubbing some on her lips.
I don’t see her much.
Now she can walk to the store herself.
Occasionally, she buys her own ice cream.
Tonight we are sharing this meal.
What is holy ground?
Jogging through town this morning,
I see children waiting for the bus.
Another summer has passed.
The girls all have ropes and are jumping
as fast as they can. One trips.
They all scream with laughter.
Autumn is a liturgy of rain.
I wake in the night to a tekiah of thunder.
“Who by earthquake and who by hurricane?”
“Who by fire and who by water?”
A river finds its way along the alleys,
comes at last to a dam choked with yellow leaves.
Beyond, a frozen pond waits patiently.
Next Wednesday is the birthday of the world
and mine. I will stand in shul and feel the shofar blast,
a wake up call from God. You have only
this hour, this moment, she says. Today,
is a tender gift I give you each morning.
What if we knew our only purpose is
to bring the Shechinah to earth,
to join our dark souls
to her light without end?
Would we shed our shoes like a skin
to stand a moment before her flame?
from Clattering East