Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For Heather, on her arrival

You will walk wide streets under waving palms
signs writ large in alien characters
names as foreign as the soil underfoot
yet familiar, as your voice to ears
let the sun which warmed our Fathers and Mothers
infuse your skin,
kiss your hair
tickle your nose
Without parents near, still you are nurtured.

You will open like a flower in the afternoon light
childhood's canopy, the tent of parental protection folded away.
The courtyard of your adulthood beckons bright
following the way once trod by our Mothers and Fathers
Chava walking, a child on her hip
Rachel running, love in her eyes
Rivka atop her camel, hanging on for dear life but falling off in love
Sarah standing solemnly, silently
moving you to a new place in your heart and your head.

Peoples from all kinds of away
mouths speaking, struggling in translation
your mind tussling, translating their talk
effort yielding understanding and connection
Chanting blessings, sharing the words of our Fathers and Mothers
cupping the flame
singing the songs
tasting the joy of libation and liberation
binding you to the land so that you may be free, releasing you so that you may return

May your journey there be your chrysalis
May the hot Israeli sun dry your newborn wings
May ripe Israeli fruit feed nectar to your lithe new form
May the language of our Mothers and Fathers inspire your soul

And from that moment until the end of your days,
whether you are there, or here or somewhere between
may your feet always feel the sandy kiss of the land of our Ancestors

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