Eve of Kol Nidrei

For the unfulfilled innate vow

to be ourselves

a vow deftly stolen from some

 

as Abraham, obedient, nearly took

the life of Isaac, a still broken

vow unto himself,

 

as Esau’s birthright was by Jacob

a parent’s inclination determined one

blind and blazing event after another.

 

And history’s mothers, wily or with silent

tears interceding, and fathers, awesome

and mild, too present or unseeing, absent

 

introduce us to our future.

Until today bowed, humble

white tents about our heads

 

                        we seek

                        forgiveness

                        for the words

                        of our lives

                        we did not utter

 

                        that only our keepsake hearts

                        were free to speak.

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