On the Way to an Answer: A Poem for the Shofar

September 8, 2014Stacey Zisook Robinson, z"l

Do not text me;
I will not notice,
And may ignore it
anyway.
How can one hundred and forty of
anything
compel me
to answer,
unless I merely seek
distraction
and not return?

Do not leave a message
that I will not listen to
I will let the sounds wash over
me in my
inattentive attention,
while I wait
for the next thing
to move me
to the next thing,
so that I can wait
for something
to move me
again.

Do not call
Or cry out
Or speak the words to me
that You spoke
to them--
to Abraham
who held a knife,
Or his son
who let him.
I will not answer.
I will not hear
from the depths of this
wilderness
that is choked with
the bits and bytes
and slings
and arrows
of my days.

I will answer
the sound of the shofar
that stayed the hand
that meant to slaughter;
That rang out
and tumbled the walls
that surrounded my heart;
That sang
in aching and awesome mystery
to announce
the presence of God.
I will hear
in this wilderness,
I will hear
in my longing
and I will turn
and turn again
and listen,
and I will
answer the shofar.

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