Modah Ani for the New Year

For Carol
 
When her feet touch floorboards
each morning, my friend says
thank you, a prayer
taught by her mother, a Hasid, who swirled
 
in clouds of words,
in constant exchange with God.
Each day, touching
holy ground.
 
She urges me to try it,
especially these days, biblical
with plagues, storms and signs
I can’t decipher,
 
intense weather, news alerts,
fears, one after another.
My feet touch sloping floors,
a faltering house
 
built of wormwood and dust.
So I whisper modah ani,
not melech. There are no kings
I trust, only ruakh, spirit
 
moving and enduring.
As I must,
climbing the mountainous day,
searching for glimpses, a feeling
 
I’m seen
through this thin blue lens,
soft air
caressing my face.
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