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Toeing the Line – A poem for Parsha Korach

Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting,
and the plague was checked.
-Numbers 17:15

The Holy One drops the mic again
This time on rebels who were consumed
in an instant.

A rapid plague takes them all out
even more rapid than the rapid tests
of our day.

We’re reminded again to know
what’s what and not stray from that path
because consequences.

It’s one thing to see this in ancient text.
It’s another to see the word plague
in all the media.

The masks are coming off but
the variants don’t care. I stroll
the supermarket aisles

looking for ice cream and flavored popcorn
and it looks like, based on whose mouths I see
half the people will survive.

I may not be one of them based on
my choice, though I’ll gladly do what I’m told
if more direction comes.

I’m no Korach. I’m a team player.
I’m the last guy who wants to get swallowed up
by the earth.

I’d love to point the Lawmaker in the direction
of the Texans who are vocalizing their
preference for plague and lies.

Or the majority of supreme robed individuals
who have itchy fingers about choices
that aren’t theirs to make.

Or the Czar and his army of nouveau Cossacks.
Yes, that is still happening. Or will I have
water to drink next week?

I may let the lawn die. Write a few pointed letters.
I’m the ultimate line-toer, and I’ve got
so much more to say.


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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