Another Failed Test – A poem for Parsha Vayera (Aliyah 5)

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Drive out this handmaid and her son, for the son of this handmaid shall not inherit with my son, with Isaac.

Genesis 21:10

Think of what might have been
had Abraham not sent Ishmael away.

Stones not thrown
in the place where they
keep throwing stones.

Where borders keep changing
and no one agrees what they are
anyway.

Where sweet and salt
mix together like water springing up
out of the desert.

Both sides of the river, forever
everybody’s inheritance.

A father and a son
not separated.

A handmaiden who carried a son
taken care of as she should have been.

Maybe they wouldn’t be hanging
words of hate over the 405 Freeway?

I think of the unrepairable mistakes
I’ve made that reverberate throughout
the decades of my life.

This one’s up there.

My heart still weeps for everyone
I’ve treated like Ishmael.

I open my tent, like Abraham,
and pray the long-lost
will come home.

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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