I Wouldn’t Get Used to This — A poem for Parsha Tazria-Metzora (Aliyah 3)

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If a man loses the hair on [the back of] his head, he is bald. He is clean.

Leviticus 13:40

No one complains when babies are bald
but let a few decades go by and if the skin
of our heads becomes visible, it becomes a thing.

Industries have arisen to help us deal with
this affliction. Wigs, magic hair dust you can
sprinkle on the vacated areas, expensive surgeries

that will rearrange your hair like when you were young
and spread your broccoli to the far edges of your plate
to make it seem like you made a dent.

We start out as babies and end up looking like babies.
Our hair makes other arrangements
our skin folds over unto itself

The things inside our skin forget how to work.
We even start to behave like babies.
We get cranky, or at least I do.

And then, too soon, we are treated like them.
Our outside privileges are taken away.
Limits to what machinery we can operate

are put in place, and everything is proofed
so we can do no damage. This is,
despite our complaints, as it should be.

Our bald heads, beacons of normalcy –
hearkening our eventual return to dust.
Gather your brooms, my friends

There’s a cleanup on aisle your entire life.
There’s no way around this.
This has always been temporary.

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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