Do You See The Fire? – A poem for Parsha Shemot (Aliyah 4)

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Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I
should take the children of Israel out of Egypt?

Exodus 3:11

We’re starting a new book today.
We’ve read it before, we already know
how it ends.

This is the one set in the narrow place.
The one about the baby, turned prince,
turned shepherd, turned reluctant hero.

How does a shepherd defeat a nation and
still get the sheep home in time for dinner?
How did I drive a stick-shift home

from Mid-Wilshire in 1987?
How did I manage to scrape a razor blade
across my face without causing permanent damage?

How did a poor child who never knew money
find himself paying a handyman to fix the sprinklers?
How does anyone born without language

eventually write a poem?
If you can put a foot in front of the other
If you can learn to eat when you’re hungry

If you can master email, text and emoji
when once these things didn’t exist
Then all you have to do is notice

when the Bush is on fire
To marvel at how it is not consumed.
If that is you

If that is your curiosity
Then you are the one who
can take us to the promised land.

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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