Water and Sand – A poem for Parsha Vezot Hab’rachah (Aliyah 4)

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For they will be nourished by the abundance of the seas, and by the treasures hidden in the sand.

Deuteronomy 33:19

I’ve never lived more than a few miles from
a body of water. When I was born it was

the Hudson River. In Florida, there was
more water than land and I lived in

perpetual fear of alligators. In Syracuse,
the Erie Canal’s fish hung from my bicycle

most summers. In California, there are
numerous dry beds labeled river which

would cause concern except for the
Pacific Ocean, the biggest thing on the planet

always a half-hour car ride away.
There has never been a time I couldn’t

cleanse myself in a living body of water
on the same day I thought to do so.

Still, the news tells us water is not a given
and the company that sends it through our pipes

has been clear it won’t last forever.
So we’re letting the lawn go and giving in

to the desires of only the least thirsty plants.
The icebergs are melting and the politics of it

doesn’t look good. We were promised nourishment
from the sea but the offer may have timed out.

As for the other part of the promise, when I was a boy
and excited about the potential of treasures

found in the sand, the bigger issue was we couldn’t
afford a metal detector. Eventually, I found employment

and didn’t need one. Sometimes we need to make our
own treasures. The lottery isn’t going to win itself.

I don’t think it’s even trying. So keep digging.
Just maybe not in the sand. Whatever you need

is worth the effort.

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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