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Poetry, Praise

A Small Prayer of Healing

High Holy Days 2023

Poem written by Ellen Steinbaum, used with permission from This Next Tenderness (2018)

Peace may not be granted,
may not drop into our open hands,
may be withheld by accident of time or place.
Weeping may tarry even in the morning and
there may be pulsing borders, words like swords.

What, then, is given?
Our every breath
spreads outward:
We must do what we can.

The blessings come
into ou lives,
pile up around us
as they have since
the wilderness.

Cities wait to be rebuilt.
What we are given,
what we can give
all the same gift:
worlds wait to be repaired.

Like all who went before us
we bear the human burden —
flesh that crumbles, spirit that bends
Comfort us as you comfoted them,
be tender with us, wrap us in light:
teach us to praise our lives.