Oooh you make me live — A poem for Parsha Ki Tavo (Aliyah 3)

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And the Lord has selected you this day
to be His treasured people

Deuteronomy 26:18

Whenever we go on a tour
whether it’s Hawaii, or Paris
or New Orleans, or Masada
I make a point of sitting in
the very front of the bus.

When we’re following the guide
on the ground which we’ve paid
our hard earned money to see
we try to wangle ourselves as close
as possible to them for a number of
good reasons: We’re not tall and
don’t want to get lost in the crowd.
Eye contact is like gold to us, and
we want the tour guide to know
we consider ourselves to be
their favorite participants ever.

In some cases it’s worked out –
like with Dublin’s Finbarr who
took us to all the famous writers’
drinking spots, and who will
give me a love on Facebook when
I post something that resonates with him.

Or more recently with Jack in Hawaii
who despite the fact that we just saw
sea turtles barely popping their heads
out of the water, versus actually snorkeling
with them as we interpreted we would based
on our quick read of the website,
became the heart of our weeklong
island experience.

I think it goes back even more.
I’ve always wanted to be the best friend
of the smartest, funniest person in the room.
Like, the Lord, I’m needy and want to put a label on it.
I come pre-ready to commit.
I’m already in love with you.
I’ve got a closet full of holiday gifts
ready to find a time to exchange.

Just say you’re ready to do this and
we can set up shop on the other side of the river.
I’ll follow all the rules You’ve laid out for us.
I don’t want to disappoint You.
I just want to be the treasure You’ve
already told me I am.
Let’s take a forever selfie.
Let’s satisfy our need.
Let’s cross the river together.

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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