One thing I ask.*
And another thing: let my thyroid, please,
function with sufficient vigor, lest days
drift by without focus. And if I catch
the flu this winter, may it not become
bronchitis. Night coughing and codeine
keep me groggy all day long,
and the month of February disappears.
My children, may they live. If they live,
they will survive, I’m sure. Help us
to bear our losses, holes of grief,
never to be filled, God willing, the anger
misdirected, by us and at us,
the fear of getting involved, again.
May polar bears swim safely
to the ice flows, and may we love
our way back to soft tickling cheeks,
hot breath, moist lips
tasting like home, even though pleasure
is so inappropriate, given the state
of the planet. Also may we notice that we
are visitors in God’s temple.
It is no vacation.
*Psalms 27: 4. Recited prior to the New Year, in the month of return and self-examination.
This poem was first published in The First Day 1/2 (Jan. 2014).