I Broke Shabbat To Write This Down
Because I didn't trust my mind's eye to remember
tan grasses piled on each other in the shape of a hill
so wide that the span of my eyes can't see it
just like the painting that hung over the piano, gleaners bending over wheat
and rolls of gold mountains behind them and sky the color of a robin's egg.
Today the sky is grey, but the robin herself takes tentative steps
at the edge of the lake,
finally jumping in for the tiniest second
before I can even see her chest puffed out below the water.
Then she runs after the duck, shaking herself vigorously, and I know.
The night before, I watched indentations of rain
against a brown paisley soup of mud and pebbles under the lake shore.
The next morning I saw the sky turn silver and trees black-green
in a pattern of triangles
and, from the edge of a pier, I sang Torah to the air.
On this beautiful, warm Shabbat afternoon, the kind of weather the Israelites must have dreamed about as they set out on their journey, some words from last weekend's retreat. I haven't written a poem in years, but plain old grammar didn't make sense when describing this gift of calm and silence. Some of that feeling still remains, miraculously, even after this week's pre-Pesah craziness, and I grasp what's left with great care. Wishing freedom and peace to all who read this, and also many of those great fake-fruit sugar slices. And macaroons, too.