I Wouldn’t Get Used to This – a poem for Torah Portion Tazria-Metzora

April 15, 2021

If a man loses the hair on [the back of] his head,
he is bald. He is clean.
Leviticus 13:40

No one complains when babies are bald
but let a few decades go by and if the skin
of our heads becomes visible, it becomes a thing.

Industries have arisen to help us deal with
this affliction. Wigs, magic hair dust you can
sprinkle on the vacated areas, expensive surgeries

that will rearrange your hair like when you were young
and spread your broccoli to the far edges of your plate
to make it seem like you made a dent.

We start out as babies and end up looking like babies.
Our hair makes other arrangements
our skin folds over unto itself

The things inside our skin forget how to work.
We even start to behave like babies.
We get cranky, or at least I do.

And then, too soon, we are treated like them.
Our outside privileges are taken away.
Limits to what machinery we can operate

are put in place, and everything is proofed
so we can do no damage. This is,
despite our complaints, as it should be.

Our bald heads, beacons of normalcy –
hearkening our eventual return to dust.
Gather your brooms, my friends

There’s a cleanup on aisle your entire life.
There’s no way around this.
This has always been temporary.

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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