Omer Day 5: April Poem


Nothing to do in this gate but surrender—yield to the glory of the ground. During this time of the year, in Northwest Philadelphia where I live, the ground truly does sing its glory. A quiet hum rises from lawns and the nearby forest floor to fill the first green breaths of the hardwoods. Everywhere daffodils trumpet, and all month long too, ecstatic, glad-to-be-back forsythia goes on and on with its wild, ungainly reach. Relax and stretch into love, whispers the gate of Hod in Hesed. Come into your glory like these bright flowers. This is your time, enjoy it. 

April Poem

Washed in April
veiled in grey
the star magnolia opens.
In her fingers 
I am lifted
to the tips of budding maples
and brushed
an early green
in the morning rain.

There you will find me still
wet, with daffodils.

I think with this poem, written seventeen years ago, I have composed my epitaph. Though I had never heard of the Omer, I encountered the gate of Hod on a walk in my neighborhood. With its soft ‘h’ and closing ‘d’, Hod is both a breath and a seal—a seal that is at once a closing, and a doorway, an opening. The ancient word, with three simple sounds, celebrates the cycles of birth and death and birth again with the ‘o’ of wonder that lies between. Hod sh’b’Hesed asks us to love like this: with our deaths continually before us and the wonder of our lives emanating from every pore. Relax and let yourself spread into the glory that you are. Practice loving from the ground up.

I don’t fret about my sister, or any other disturbance in the universe, when I give in to the wonder of Hod. I accept what is and praise it—grow from there. 

From Through the Gates: A Practice for Counting the Omer. Image by D’vorah Horn from her set of Omer Practice Cards (2016).


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