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Turning: A Poem for Yom Kippur

Turning: A Poem for Yom Kippur

Four pairs of hands forming the outline of a heart

We stood in reverence of the Torah,
as if she were a trusted friend.
We gazed at her with loving eyes
as if she were a long lost lover.

We extended kisses to her
as if she were our only true love.
As long as there is Torah,
we shall find our path to being holy.

We found safety in one another's arms,
a space to cry tears of mourning,
as our singing returned them to tears of joy,
and we found the strength to forgive
those who had done us harm.

We touched the brokenness of our hearts,
and then sang them back together again.
As long as there is kindness,
we shall heal one another.
As long as there is community,
we shall walk this path to being holy.

As long as there is poetry,
there will be hope.
As long as there is song,
there will be joy.
As long as there is prayer,
there will be catharsis.

As long as there is community,
we shall stand together in awe.
As long as there are these things,
the world shall keep on turning,
and so shall all of us.

Inspired by Yom Kippur services, 5778.

D.L. Lang is the 2017-2019 Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California, and the author of nine books of poetry. She is a congregant at Congregation Rodef Sholom in San Rafael, where Jewish communal experiences often leave her awestruck and poetically inspired.

D.L. Lang
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