August 23, 2019

In Every Generation

In every generation
Each of us must learn
How to look at a stranger
And see the beloved.

In every generation
Each of us must find
The invisible security gate
Guarding our heart
And break it.

And so in every generation
We drink teardrops
From curls of parsley,
Teaching ourselves to taste
Our secret sorrows.

We burn our tongues raw
With bitter herbs, learning
To taste the suffering
Of our neighbor.

We break the matzo in two
And across its surface,
Broad and tan as the desert
Seen from above, we spread
Charoset to remind us
That only together can we be
Liberated: strangers, neighbors,
Our own hidden selves, mixing
Together the bitter and the sweet,
Spoonfuls of chopped-up apples
And walnuts on our tongues,
The cinnamon scent of freedom
Filling the desert at last.