Dina Stander

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Poem for Pesach

April 14, 2019

Pesach, 2016

Here is the thing of it
when we are in the narrow place
squozen by the pressures of our time
there is no thought of passing over
only wondering how long it will take
and what it will cost to pass through
and so in the midst of inventing
ourselves again and again
to accommodate the winds of
whatever desert we are dragging
our dry bones through
we come to the moment
in the circle of the year
for letting our selves rest awhile
at a table brushed clean and
set with an empty cup
and a plate that tells a story
with a roasted bone
a knob of raw horseradish
an egg and an orange
we begin by reclining
tasting the salt on our faces
nibbling the herbs that will
cleanse our senses and pouring
the wine that will loosen our
tongues as we lean in closer
because on this night
it is enough to be together
telling a story we know so well
about the mortar that sets
between the bricks of
what we allow to oppress us
about the deals we finagle to survive
about making matzoh on the fly
and how it takes a miracle
to cross the water pour me another
glass of wine please because
even when we are lost and
wandering in the narrow places
we sing our redemption
into being

I hope every one who visits this poem takes a moment to appreciate Judy Chicago's amazing seder plate! She made a whole series of them and you can see them all here:


and on top, the wonderful blue photo of a narrow place:

Robert Brands/523704/unsplash


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