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When I Was Growing Up – A poem for Parsha Behar

If your brother becomes destitute and sells some of his inherited property…
– Leviticus 25:25

When I was growing up
I barely owned a stapler.

When I was growing up
I blessed the refrigerator if
it had anything in it.

When I was growing up
we rented our land from
people whose names
we did not know.

When I was growing up
we would take breaks
from paying the unknown
and then put our possessions
in boxes and move to new land.

When I was growing up
a lost nickel or an ice cream cone
fallen to the ground, felt like
destitution.

When I was growing up
crossing an ocean or even
a state line seemed like something
only kings got to do.

When I was growing up
someone cutting in line in front of me
felt like theft.

When I was growing up
I walked and walked because
there was no other way
to get there.

When I was growing up
I eventually got there.
I eventually found all my
missing dimes.
I eventually crossed borders
and continental divides.
I eventually bought ice cream
whenever I wanted.

When I was all grown up
I made every effort to remember
whose hands pulled me this far
and what it was like
before I got here.


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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