Take My Goat, Please.

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Aaron is to offer a bull and two goats to atone for himself and his household.

Leviticus, Yom Kippur

And I wonder do I need to atone for the sins of my household.
The uneaten food our sweet little boy promised he would eat
when he saw it beaming out of the freezer cabinet at the market.

The late to school every day sweet little boy because there are
still three more Lego pieces to snap on, and despite numerous cries
to put his shoes on, his shoes…are not on.

Can’t I just atone for myself and let my household deal with it’s own issues?
The reactionary emails…I’m still learning how to strike when the iron’s cold.
The, let’s just say, uncharitable thoughts that run through my head

when I encounter the scourge of humanity…you know, the ones who
don’t signal before they change lanes; the ones who eat their lunch
in front of our house and don’t take their trash with them.

Where are their bulls, the ones who sometimes make our parkway
look like Attilla the Hun’s sandbox. And what is this of bulls and goats?
I’ve got three cats, if you don’t count the other three that live outside.

There will be no scape-cat-ing. I looked up Bull Store on the internet
and the closest thing was a place in upper Texas. (Plus numerous
paraphernalia shops in Chicago. That’s a basketball reference, I don’t even get it.)

I want to take my sins to a petting zoo and set them all free.
Each sin, like a breadcrumb in an animal’s mouth, my transgression
acknowledged, apologized for, and repurposed to sustain life.

We are all flawed like a child with eyes bigger than the supermarket freezer.
We dance on the darkness every day, sometimes dip in more than our toes.
Sometimes behave like little Attillas.

Let us squeeze the night out of our sins so all that is left is light.
Let us hold the hands of our household as they struggle to find their own bulls and goats.
Let us be more yin than yang this year, knowing that having only one

is like having flesh without skin. Oh God of Aaron, whatever you are,
please take my goat and bull. I know I’m asking a lot, You know how much bull I have.
Please take them. Please forgive me.

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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