February 22, 2020

What We Learn From the Determined Fish: A poem for Torah Portion Vayechi

may they multiply abundantly like fish

This is what we want for our children
to multiply abundantly like fish.
Not the fish in farms, or the ones
who succumb to hooks and nets.
But the fish who free-swim
the ones who head up waterfalls
without complaining. The ones
who don’t give a second thought
to the possibility of going up a waterfall.

This is what we want for our children
to be blessed by their grandparents hands.
The blessing that shows our parents’ approval
of how we’ve handled the next generation.
A blessing the blessed may not remember
until they start to wonder about their own names
and who they were named after, and who
they were named after, all the way back
to that first set of hands – the ones in Egypt
back when that was a neighborhood you
wanted to be in. And the ones before that
stretched over a stone in a promised land.
And the ones before that, that got wet when
the rain wouldn’t stop. And the ones before that,
that got dirty in the garden. And the ones
before that, the Holy hands, that made everything.

This is what we want for our children
to swim in that stream. To feel the pull
of the original current. To make their own waves
that their children’s children’s children will feel.
And so on and so on

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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