February 19, 2020

This is the End – A poem for parsha V’zot Haberachah

And this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God,
blessed the children of Israel [just] before his death.

If you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.
So you might as well say your piece
as these eager souls already have
their hearts on the other side of
the river.

Not everyone has the benefit of
starting over – of rewinding this scroll
to the beginning and re-reading
the story – of reliving our history
as if it’s the first time, every time.

Soon the garden will be built again.
The same mistakes will be made.
The forbidden fruit, the serpent,
the shame.

But I’m skipping ahead.
Let’s savor the final words, before
the man who brought us here
takes his final hike up the mountain.
He’s doling out blessings like
last day presidential pardons.

May we all live and not die
is the one that rings in my ears.
If only all of that were possible.
I’d like to get to the end and see
the first seeds of the first tree.

Maybe come early and watch the
heavens and earth separate.
But Moses’ final lesson is his death.
So do everything you can before
that happens. This is the entirety
of your blessing.

God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos 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 23 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 “Hunka Hunka Howdee!” (Poems written in Memphis, Nashville, and Louisville – Ain’t Got No Press, May 2019) and edited the anthologies “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.

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