Songs From the Diaspora is a weekly poetry blog featuring poetry  inspired by the weekly Torah portion or other Jewish sources. This week, Parashat Shoftim was my source of inspiration.

 

Shoftim

 

We wake with the damp in our knuckles,

creaking in the bare mist-

Weak light shudders us stiff

dawn checks us

Our bodies still move

Our eyes still open

Our blades still sharp

How far have we come on these sore feet and aching backs?

 

Once, I found myself confused,

Surrounded;

in a rocky field, an empty parking lot, a desert-

a convenience store blown open-

a war of open aperture

and a pupil which never constricts

I found myself by that tree

Whose limbs I must not cut

Covered in sap

Drenched,

soaked, clawing at her roots-

yet I left her to fruit

and when I woke I found myself still a soldier.

Praying in a dawn field

Amongst the breath of my kin-

the low grumble and bray of a loose flock

shifting by us

 

In the clamor to a familiar pass

Through marsh and river, cedar and ash

our smudged faces reckon back at us-

a gathered pool

of cistern etched in rock