A Prayer For The Seder Table

Greet me.
Release me.
Hear me
breathing like bleeding
behind the mask I wear to
conceal and reveal the quiet fear
that festers beneath.

It settles on lips that quiver
a prayer soft but powerful
enough to spread disease
if my mouth were not muzzled,

if I didn’t fall in line –
join the masquerade
by unjoining everything.

Tree blossom buds burst
forth from branches
with relentless impudence
of hope against hopelessness.
Blades of grass stand tall
in the shadows of no passersby,
certain against all uncertainty.
Onward still this beast beats
inside gorgeous lungs that
breathed dreams and love
deep into soft weathered souls
as many extinguish with the promise
of Spring outside the windows.

We all underestimated the
veracity of Mother Nature
as she shook us off her weary
back and bent down low to retrieve
her crown and rule with an iron fist.
Still I watch her with raw, aching want
from behind finger printed glass.

Who by upheaval and who by plague?
Let us tear our shirts and sit low and lonely.
Do not gather in ten.
Do not round up the men
to pray.
In rainwater do not immerse

it will unholy your holy.

Dip not your finger in your glass of red wine
lest you count an eleventh plague

inside your mouth.
Feel the chains of slavery again
as we celebrate redemption around
long empty tables.

Relent to the fate of the universe
as the wandering people
cannot wander closer than 6 feet apart.
Eat the unleavened bread but say
the prayer for the Day of Atonement.

Alone together say
there was darkness and then there was death.

Together say
Dayenu.