Songs From the Diaspora is a weekly poetry blog featuring poetry inspired by the Torah portion, Haftorah or other text, and sometimes simply just the world around me. This week, Parashat Va’etchanan was my source material, and I was focused on writing about the experience and practice of prayer, faith, leadership, and peoplehood.

Va’etchanan

A knot tied in an open palm

strands soaked

with desert bloom

transfer

to this barefoot room

Standing draped

the smell of primrose kneels me

hand to my warm face I think-

What other people’s

cheek flamed without singe?

Of that hand outheld,

oil through the fingers

Smelling of olives and rose as it pools in dirt, still East

a crown passed, for a sake

he sleeps where he would not rest

his palms soak us into our new possession

wearing our laws like fresh garments

rosen oil on our skin