Ancient DNA – A Poem for Haftarah Pinchas by Rick Lupert
When I had not yet formed you in the womb, I knew you
Jeremiah – still, still, still not a bullfrog
afraid of his Father, cowers like a child
afraid the words that will emerge from
his mouth, will be the words of a child,
has forgotten Who put the words in there
has forgotten Father has known him
since the womb, since before the womb.
A bond formed by an incomprehensible
fusion of holy DNA. Jeremiah, the
forever child, sees the almond tree
Father planted, sees the bubbling pot.
Sees the trouble brewing in the north.
Is given the confidence to prevail there.
And so too it is with our children.
Our children who we know since
before they the womb. Our children
whose words we parse like scientists.
Our children whose DNA is our DNA.
We just travelled through the south,
through cities our northern friends said
we should boycott, whose people we
found to be more friendly than family
only to arrive home and reacquaint
ourselves with the ancient trouble
in the north. Trust your ancient DNA
when you go to where you go.
The north shall rise again.
Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 22 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Beautiful Mistakes” (Rothco Press, May 2018) and edited the anthologies “A Poet’s Siddur: Shabbat Evening“, “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.