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a poem for after the hagim

the gates are closed

my fate is sealed


and now I sit here

with what's real


the gates are closed

my fate is sealed


and now I sit here

with what's real


~


elul came

and elul went


a 30-day alarm clock

broken, bent


rosh hashannah came

and then it went


a crimson blossom

in sacchrine scent


the days between

then yom kippur

our judgement stamped,

our bodies rent


and then just 5 days

'til hag sukkoys

where broken bodies

laid in open tents

enveloped round

just like our fates

which by the end

were sealed, sent


and now we sit here

knowing that

in Her hands is

whatever's meant


life and death and

good and bad

and narrow bridge to

wide expanse


it's laid out now

for us to travel

her hands thumb the thread,

she lets unravel


so what's to do

for a soul and skin

whose fate is sealed

in last year's sin


and mitzvah's racked up

joyfully done

from a journey around

a now-set sun


what to do

when the gates are closed

and your fate is sealed


and now you sit here

with what's real


when the gates are closed

and your fate is sealed


and now you sit here

with what's real


~~~


despair, an option

surrender, too

if it doesn't matter

what we do


but there's not much truth

in that shortsighted view

that a year is all

that defines what we do


you and me,

are here because

a thousand generations

created us


with every action

and fraught decision

communal will

and breached division


we do not work

just for the year we're in

what a limited and broken

and small vision


we work for the future that

has not been written


we're tasked by tradition

to be with what is

and know that wisdom comes

with acceptance


and yet were also told

that with our breath

every prayer

that we have said


can stitch the world

a crimson crown

can crack it open

with shofar sound


can free a people

can split a sea


but with split-screens

they're telling me

your attention's "Now!"

3 minutes out

is all that you

should worry bout


because that is all

that really counts


but they can't take

this sight from us


because our fates been sealed

our letters sent

and in Her hands

they're soflty kept


so though they try

to scare us here

to take my faith

and leave me fear


my soul's already

generations past

and by that time

this will all be dust


im working now,

for next years seal

by living right

inside what is real


~


because though the gates are closed

and my fate is sealed


I'm living here

for next year's seal


and the seal after

and a thousand still


as I sit here now

with all that's real


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