When I Was Growing Up – A poem for Parsha Behar (Aliyah 4)

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If your brother becomes destitute and sells some of his inherited property . . .

Leviticus 25:25

When I was growing up
I barely owned a stapler.

When I was growing up
I blessed the refrigerator if
it had anything in it.

When I was growing up
we rented our land from
people whose names
we did not know.

When I was growing up
we would take breaks
from paying the unknown
and then put our possessions
in boxes and move to new land.

When I was growing up
a lost nickel or an ice cream cone
fallen to the ground, felt like
destitution.

When I was growing up
crossing an ocean or even
a state line seemed like something
only kings got to do.

When I was growing up
someone cutting in line in front of me
felt like theft.

When I was growing up
I walked and walked because
there was no other way
to get there.

When I was growing up
I eventually got there.
I eventually found all my
missing dimes.
I eventually crossed borders
and continental divides.
I eventually bought ice cream
whenever I wanted.

When I was all grown up
I made every effort to remember
whose hands pulled me this far
and what it was like
before I got here.

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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