Closed Lips – A poem for Parsha Vaera (Aliyah 3)

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But Moses said before the Lord,
"Behold, I am of closed lips; so
how will Pharaoh hearken to me?"

Exodus 6:30

Closed lips –
Is it a medical condition?
Does the speaker not know
how to, simply, open his lips?
How is he saying, what he’s saying
if his lips are closed?
Is complaining exempt
from the condition of closed lips?
Or is it the cure?
Is this how ventriloquism
got invented?
Have my lips ever been closed
when they should have been open?
I know the reverse is true.
What is it I should have said
and what is the difference it
would have made?
Should more people be
opening their lips to
make a difference?
I’d like to contribute to the list
of people whose lips
should remain closed.
I’d like to know when I
should be on that list.
Maybe it’s a confidence thing?
Maybe we’re scared the
things that will come out
will get us cancelled.
Maybe we’re afraid
if we make a space
a fly will go in.
Maybe we just need
a set of helper lips.
We can’t always do it alone.
Moses, with his closed lips,
with his brother’s voice
with Divine assistance
managed to get it all done.

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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