Sanctuary: A Poem for the End of Counting the Omer

June 3, 2014Stacey Zisook Robinson, z"l

I counted out the measures
In cubits
and inches
and baskets of grain
And made a sanctuary
From a field of grass
And cornflowers,
And it was pleasing to behold,
And silent.

Beyond those borders,
Beyond the altars and their
Sacred, silent beauty,
Lay the wild lands--
Choked with weeds
And shadows
That stretched in still echoes
Back
Over miles
And unmeasured days,
Leached of color
And light.

They came,
Crossing the wilderness
With steps of infinity,
Measured in endless cubits
And dusty inches,
And gathered here,
In my field of glory,
Carrying baskets laden with their gifts
And sins
And doubt:
Their sacrifice,
Offered in silvered longing.

They gathered
Bringing their finest,
Together with their brokenness,
And wove a tapestry
Of bright thread
That caught the eye
and reflected the sun.
And laid on that altar
Their gifts and broken burdens,
All together and all at once.

They gathered within those boundaries
Of cubits; of inches; of meters
And measures
In a field of grass;
They lifted their voices
In endless hosannas
And aching need,
And sang

Hallelujah.

It was benediction--
A prayer,
A bounty of sweet and
splintered offerings.
They sang
Into that holy stillness--
That glorious sanctuary
Of unbounded measure
And sweetly bending grasses,
And mist that hovered
Like the breath of God--

Filled.

Hallelujah.

c 2014 Stacey Zisook Robinson

Related Posts

Rereading – and Reimagining – Sacred Story

October 3, 2022
"Tell me a story" is a constant refrain for those of us with children in our lives. Almost as often, when the last page is turned, the child looks up and asks, "again?" Sometimes, this is a joy. Sometimes, re-reading, and re-reading some more, becomes a burden.

Antisemitism Finally Hits Home for Me

September 29, 2022
In the many years (57 to be exact) that I have been in an interfaith marriage, I felt somehow removed from antisemitism. I was raised in a Roman Catholic family, and, while there were a few comments from aunts and uncles when I got engaged, it was the 1960s, and I was in love. I believed we would figure it out as we went along.