Old Friends – A poem for Parsha Toldot (Aliyah 4)

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Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and you sent me away from you?

Genesis 26:27

Some of the friends I have today are
not the same ones I used to have.
Things change. Words are spoken

like feathers from a shattered pillow –
so easy to spread, and impossible
to gather back.

Just recently I received an email
telling me all about my lifetime of
mistakes, and as a result they

would definitely not be helping me
re-home kittens, any time soon.
I’d rather build a bridge than burn one

but getting the permits can take forever
and if I’m the one who broke it, the approval
committee is already against me.

I’ve come to accept there are
holes in my heart that will remain
forever vacant.

There’s only so much room for
demolition in there so I try to receive
everyone as if they’re one of the thirty-six.

That’s universal. I remember my
high school friend, who is still a friend,
who told me he wanted to meet everyone

as if they were the Buddha.
Or our music teacher, of blessed memory
who told us everyone is a goldmine.

This is what I think about when
they cut me off on the freeway.
Their soul is pure and good.

Their intentions only momentarily lapsed.
Every one, a human with blood and breath.
Never to be sent away.

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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