Beloved Zion

View of the negev desert with a small tree
The ones who say Zionism is a dirty word,
The ones who choose death on your account,
They only see the “ism.”
They flatten your fullness and mar your name.
They don’t care to know who you really are-
But we have sworn never to forget you,
For your sake, we will not be silent.
You are the tears that flowed into the rivers of Babylon
You are the sweat of lovers circling in jubilation
You are the shattered glass under the chuppah
You are the tattered page of a prayerbook, digitized
You are the palace in flames licking the sky
You are the city glowing golden from a distance
You are the street cat salvaging scraps
You are the archaeologist peeling away layers
You are the onion curling in oil
You are the cumin riding on the air
You are the chaos of the post office
You are the chorus of Hebrew, Arabic, English,
Amharic, French, Spanish, and Yiddish
in the street.
You are the seed, ancient, opening, bearing fruit
You are the song we sing,
walled in by water and wandering in the wild,
packing bags and raising glasses.
You are the memory that we are rooted
when we are lost
You are the compass
You are the are we there yet?
You are the reminder on our calendar,
next-year after next-year.
You are our security blanket, with fringes
You are the bell, the minaret, and the scroll.
You are the geyser of Torah
You are the haven of mourners
You are the place of promise
You are the reason for peace
You are the teacher of desire
You are the dream-home for the Holy
You are the commander of hope.
You are the bed where wolf and lamb will rest
one day,
You are the one
You are the one who got away.
We will wait for you, Zion,
always and forever
Until all of God’s children can dwell
safe, whole, free
in joy
in your gates together.
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