High Holy Days 2023

Poem written by Ann Bookman, used with permission from Points of Attachment (Finishing Line Press, 2012)

I dreamt it was the end of the world:
all we had left was each other
and twenty seven acres of land
where we had grown vegetables,
perennials and hope.

The land had become wild
as my hair, the garden fence gone,
the shed and barn burned to ash.
The clearings we had opened in the woods
closed in upon us, overgrown
with saplings and vines, thickly
twisting with malevolent purpose.

The pond was dry, swallowed
by forces beneath the water’s surface.
Only the rowboat remained,
sitting empty on the shore
that was no longer a shore.

And it fell to us to preserve
one cell of every living thing –
growing on the earth,
swimming in the sea,
flying toward the sun.
And it fell to us to make maps,
record the journey of rivers
with posthumous blue lines.

We used to wrap ourselves in knowing,
using words as if we grasped
their meaning. Now we cry out,
not for prophets,
but for a time called future,
in its exquisite uncertainty.