A Lot More Goats – a poem for Parsha Naso (Aliyah 6)

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And for the peace offering: two oxen, five rams, five he goats, five lambs in their first year . . .

You’d think it would be awkward when
everyone showed up to the party with
the exact same gifts.

But it wasn’t. Moses had registered at the
great department store in the sky, and what
was brought, was exactly what was desired.

If only bringing livestock to our enemies
could be enough to cause peace to reign.
I’d send a young bull to my neighbor who

keeps parking by the fire hydrant in front
of our house. I’d send a ram and a lamb
(one each!) to Russia and North Korea.

I’d send two oxen to Iran. I’d send
five rams to Hamas. I’d send five lambs
each less than one year old to China.

Maybe they’d send them back electrified?
(And affordably priced!) How many spoons
full of gold filled with incense will it take

for my neighbors to stop complaining
that there are too many Starbucks in our city?
How many silver sprinkling basins are needed to

get people to signal before they change lanes
on the freeway? Would it make a difference if
I filled it with flour and olive oil?

There was a livestock party at the Tabernacle.
Like our hopes for peace, many of them
went up in smoke.

If we want to get closer to the world yet to come,
we’re going to need more goats.
A lot more goats.

These poems are offered free for your enjoyment. If you use them as part of an event, meeting, educational or liturgical setting, please consider tipping the author.

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