He’s Leaving Home, Bye Bye – A poem for Parsha Lech Lecha by Rick Lupert
Go forth from your land and from your birthplace and
from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.
My main question is, if I leave,
will my father repurpose my room?
I’ve given him no indication I’ll be back
and he’s still bitter about all the dust
in his workshop.
Though it was in the making of this dust
that this deal came along. I should
pack all my things as a courtesy.
He’ll need the space when
all the false gods
come to visit.
They grow up so quick I imagine him saying
as I look to see what’s behind the curtain.
I’d wonder if my mother will miss me too
but no-one ever mentions her name –
Like she doesn’t even exist.
And I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you,
and I will aggrandize your name
I’d like to see my name in lights.
I’m not sure I deserve it, but
just once let the stars spell out my name.
And Abram took Sarai his wife…and all their possessions that
they had acquired, and the souls they had acquired…
How does one acquire a soul
beyond the one we’re lucky enough
to have returned every morning?
Do we even have space for
a second or third? How do we
carry them? What do they eat?
Do souls make small talk?
Do they even talk? Do they
have possessions of their own?
Abram, the soul shepherd,
traveling to a promised land –
His name not holy yet.
[Abram] said to Sarai his wife, “Behold now I know that
you are a woman of fair appearance.
You’d think this would be
the first thing he’d notice
or maybe he did and waited
until this road trip to say anything.
It’s superficial but nice to hear
anyway, sometimes. Even as a
precursor to a warning.
As a safety measure to save
his own life –
To make sure everyone
gets where they’re going.
Sarai, you are of fair appearance.
See how they’ve been
dealing with this since people
started writing things down?
Los 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 21 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 “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) 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.