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Verklemptitude – A poem for Torah Portion Vayigash

[additional-authors]
December 24, 2020

And he wept out loud, so the Egyptians heard,
and the house of Pharaoh heard.
Genesis 45:2

It doesn’t take much to get me to weep.
A minor chord in a TV soundtrack.
A glimpse of a memory

The slightest glance in my wife’s eyes
Sometimes the wind blows
and I lose it.

Are you crying again she’ll ask me
after a backyard squirrel runs up a tree.
And, invariably, I am.

Like Joseph who wept when his
long-lost brothers stood before him.
His finger on the pit.

Instead of revenge, he chose tears.
Or, does one ever choose whether
or not water flows from our eyes?

Our sadness reminds us we are human
subject to the emotional weight
of right and wrong.

Beat up by constant reminders
of our impermanence, or the pain
of what could have been.

Yes, that new song is making me verklempt.
I want everyone to stop what they’re doing
and sing it with me.

I’m willing to pull you out of the pit
even if I was the one who pushed you in.
Even if it makes me cry.


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 25 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 “The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express” (Poems written in Japan – Ain’t Got No Press, August 2020) 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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