Dilly Dallying in the Holy Land – A poem for Parsha Miketz

December 22, 2022
© Naufal MQ/Getty Images

For had we not tarried, by now we would have already returned twice.
-Genesis 43:10

I keep telling my child to do the things now
so that way he won’t have to do them later.
All the things – homework, collecting the mail,

the other thing he was supposed to do,
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
I learned this lesson late too.

So late I can still recount the projects
from forty years ago I have yet to complete.
Mainly homework…that one essay I

never did because I calculated my grade
and determined I would be fine with
the results if I let that one slide.

I’m not proud of this and, now, I respond
to people’s emails before they even write them.
It’s gotten to the point where if

something shows up in my email
even if the deadline is weeks away
my heart sinks and I think oh, no!

I have to do this so that way I will
no longer be in a state of having to do it.
(You should really hire me to do things.

I promise they’ll get done quickly
and I’m very reasonable.)
Joseph’s brothers, Jacob’s sons

tarried at home. Not wanting to do
what they were supposed to do.
Their almost empty stomachs

set them on the right path. They
packaged up their youngest brother
and headed to the narrow place.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but
for a while, it really worked out for them.
But watch the news and we realize

life in even the widest of places is
never easy for the descendants of Jacob.
Always strangers in strange lands.

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 26 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 “I Am Not Writing a Book of Poems in Hawaii” (Poems written in Hawaii – Ain’t Got No Press, August 2022) 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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