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The Unblemished Pie Slice – A poem for Parsha Pinchas

Say what you’re going to say as if your words were arms intended to wrap around everyone you’ve ever loved.
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July 6, 2023
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The Unblemished Pie Slice – A poem for Parsha Pinchas
Numbers 28:3

Unblemished –
As in perfect

As in take the very best of what you have
and that’s what you give away.

This reminds me of when I make a round thing
such as a pie or quiche, and I bring it to the table.

The first slice out is always a disaster.
There is no tool for cutting a perfect first slice.

it will fall apart. Half the crust left in the tin.
Lucky at all to get any innards.

(I want you to salivate when reading this,
so you choose if this is your favorite fruit pie

or the savory quiche of your dreams.)
This is the piece I would give to my son

because he was young and I didn’t think he’d care.
Until one day when he said of course I get that piece

because I don’t care. At which point I knew he did.
So then I’d give that piece to my wife, not that she

deserved the broken one, but because I wouldn’t dare
serve myself first. It was a surprise to everyone –

Giving the second perfect slice to our son.
Because he should have the very best.

Not like when we grew up and had to go
uphill both ways to get an explosion of pie.

It’s the same when he asks if he can have
the last of whatever it is. Even though I would

probably love to eat it, he should have it.
These are the sacrifices we have learned to make –

Giving him the unblemished slice.
The very last of the desirable thing.

May he learn to pass this on
to whomever he makes.


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 27 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 Low Country Shvitz” (Poems written in Georgia and the Carolinas – Ain’t Got No Press, May 2023) 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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