All the Things – A poem for Parsha Noach (Aliyah 4)

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So long as the earth exists, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

Genesis 8:22

There are at least half a dozen movies
in which the entire world is destroyed.
I would tell you what they are but
I don’t want to give away their endings.

There are many more films in which
the entire world is almost destroyed
but is saved at the end by the efforts
of the people we’re rooting for.

These make it easy for us to imagine
all of it going away. All of our buildings and legacies.
All the things we’ve written down.
All our recipes and shortcuts.

Floating away or incinerated or
simply vanishing with a snap.
Even the news is in on it, showing us
vanishing rainforests and rising coastlines.

Showing us the names of animals who
haven’t set foot on the Earth since
before our grandparents. The air we breathe
the layer of whatever that creates

a separation between space and us
so fragile, if you trust the scientists.
We do what we can. We go solar.
We replace our grass with rock.

We eventually turn off the faucet.
Hoping all of the faucets don’t
permanently turn off. This may be
what the Promiser had up their sleeve

when they told us so long as the earth exists.
You mean there could be a time when it doesn’t
is the question Noah never asked as the animals
filed off the ark, and he was given permission

to eat almost all of them.

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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