Curtains Call – A poem for Parsha Vayakhel (Aliyah 4)

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Then all the wise hearted people of the performers of the work made the Mishkan out of ten curtains

Exodus 36:8

If you’re following my poems you’ll know
that I moved recently. Don’t let this news
frustrate you. You can binge-read all the
previous poems by clicking in the right places.

The previous residents had lived here for
thirty six years…They were the first people to
occupy this structure after it was raised up out of
the dirt, much to the chagrin of the local coyotes.

They left choices for us to make. The curtains,
for example, they didn’t take with them to
North Carolina. (Please don’t stalk them.)
Old carpet. Wall colors. More than our share

of rose bushes. We changed the carpet.
(The cats insisted.) We wouldn’t dare
remove the rose bushes…especially the
memorial one for service in Vietnam.

The colors are different, and we felt guilty
doing so. Who are we to second-guess
the wise hearted choices of those who
came before? That may be why the curtains

are still hanging. White sheers that hang
to the floor with valances styled by
craftspeople whose sensibility must have
come from decades of study of valance history.

We know so little about curtains. I mean,
we know what they do and are thankful
for their service. And who’s to say our eye
is any better than those who came before?

We build our home on the shoulders of
those who came before. We’ll scratch our
initials in the concrete, next to theirs. So the
ones yet to come will know what we did here.

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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