Jun 15
poem 0 comments challenge: Godin
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Sketches of courage

To speak one's mind by telling all one's heart
- Brené Brown (TED Talk: The Power of Vulnerability)

Tiny boots and cardboard blocks are strewn across the carpet. 
Aleph coloring pages line the bright kindergarten tables. 
The only light in the room comes from slanted window shades. 
A picture book lies in my hands.
Words illuminated by blue-dusk light. 
Shoulder level heads lean on me and listen.
I read a story: of friendship, love of all people, and peace.  

A smattering of spectators perches on cold metal bleachers.
They dig their hands out from blankets to clap for noteworthy shots.
A yellow racquet with a pink grip is propped against the net. 
An opponent paces with anticipation on the parking lot end of the court.
I've lost two matches, a coach, a set, and a game. 
I pick up the racquet, skip to the baseline, and serve. 

May 31
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Good Thoughts

May 27
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The kippah can’t stop the November sleet from piercing Evie’s scalp. It squeezes through the crochet gaps, leaving a speckled pattern upon her chestnut, plaited hair. She would have blended into the woody trees if not for the new covering. Upon the first sight of yellow around the corner, Evie’s hands fly up to the kippah. Perhaps she hoped to pull it off, but she doesn’t. Her patterned hair would have warranted stares anyway. She brushes a couple of frozen chunks from her nose and yields to the preying doors, the silver threaded star on the crown of her head glaring loudly. Settled in her normal seat, she leans her head against the window and watches the sleet drip down across the kippah’s reflection.
Feb 27
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Trees, Tu Bishvat, and Tikkun Olam

I was a seedling myself at my first Tu Bishvat Seder
Anticipating my 6th birthday as the trees celebrated theirs. 

I took itty bitty sips of four cups of grape juice I didn't like
Spooned foreign fruits onto my paper plate
And joined the high pitched prayer chorus
Of my Hebrew school classmates, all while wondering
Why is there a birthday for the trees?

11 years later, 
I teach in the same Hebrew school classroom
Of mitzvot- good deeds- and the letter Mem.
And my climate-activist self wonders,
What does it mean to be Jewish in the age of climate change?

I think of trees, Tu Bishvat, and Tikkun Olam. 

In the words of the five-year-old I was,
Tikkun Olam means repairing the world. 
Prevalent in American Reform Judaism, 
It is the religious concept behind Jewish social action and education.

It is the link between loving the earth and saving it. 
Jan 28
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King of the Sky

A bird plays hopscotch on the horizon
and traces the sea with her wings.

Just close enough to flick up
holy droplets and alluring spray
but far enough that she wonders
what lies beneath the turbulent surface.

She sees her delicate feathers
mirrored on sun-tipped waves
and extends her beak down 
in search of companionship.

The bird meets the mirage
of outward beauty.

Beak full of water not feathers
With desperation lighting her eyes
She befriends the sea.

The bird squeezes through the iron bars
of Sky's Cage.

Plunges into screaming waves
and surfaces with her own dinner
handsome ruffled feathers
and a soul feeding off the tides.

She emerges
King of the sky
and Queen of the sea. 
Jan 12
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For Summer

My skin yearns for the sideways kiss
Of morning sun for
Lake droplets lifted
Off my skin by balmy,
Dandelion air.

And my laughter
Waits for dock picnics
Green mountain tops
And crowded swimming pools. 

Nose searching for
Watermelon slices
Garden herbs
Almost tasting
Backyard barbeque.
I await summer's joyous greeting.

But when it comes,
I will reminisce over  
Red-tipped noses  
Too rich hot chocolate
Cross country skis
And silver flurries. 

Wait for crisp air
Warm socks and sweaters
For soup and fireplaces. 
So is the seasons' curse.

Don't wait for summer
For snow
For red leaves 
Or flowers sprouting.

Venture out and discover
The unique season
That is today. 
Jan 05
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Green New Deal

Green New Deal!
They shout from the corner of Pelosi's office
Wearing sneakers, high heels
Making appeals
With light skin, dark skin
Only akin
By the youth that fills
Their eyes with fire
And magnifies their voice. 

We are Sunrise! 
The children scream.
The future now dreams
Of a land where the grass stays green
Where equality streams
Down the mountainsides
And rejuvenates our land. 
Green New Deal now!
They shout on campaign stages
In town hall forums
And on the Senate floor. 

For the first time in history
Our environmental worries,
Our unwavering passion, 
Our calls for action
Have poured into Washington.
It is the day
Of climate reckoning. 

And so we shout
Green New Deal!
And so we shout
The future is here.
And so we shout
For justice. 
Jan 02
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Hanging Freedom

I was walking in a grocery store
one day when I spotted 
two young girls with 
rambunctious brown buns
wedging their feet between
Breyers ice cream.

On the tippy top shelf lay
the last beaten box of raspberry popsicles
dripping with color and corn syrup
and ensnaring their eyes.

I walked over,
wary that the little one,
being insistently boosted from the bottom,
would topple down from the seven foot
shelves and crash into the nearby cantaloupes.

I said, 
"Hi. Want some help?
I can grab the popsicles if you'd like."

The big one gracefully dismounted,
polka dot skirt blossoming,
and pucked the younger one
clean off the shelf.

With a child's honesty, the little girl proclaimed,
"No. I don't like popsicles."

"Then what are you doing?"
I posed as the bigger one nudged the smaller-
the epitome of bossy big sister.
Dec 14
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A Dwindling River

I was perched on the edge of a worming river
With brown leaves crunched under kids 11 boots
My eyes scrambling in pursuit
Of a flimsy birch boat
Set gently upon the water
A mere wind gust ago. 

My inquisitive blue eyes
Couldn't trace the path of my boat
Supposedly meandering along the river
And voyaging out to sea. 

I took its absence as a chip of wonder
Upon my bush-level shoulder
And took it that my majestic river
Had already swept it out to mermaid coves
To sea groves and I let the boat slip
From an imagination riddled mind
Into the depths of childhood memory. 

I straddled a trickling excuse for a stream
With big musty sticks squashed under Mom's snow boots
And gazed up and down the stream,
Neck stretched with the purpose of greater persepctive.
My wisened blue eyes landed upon a flag of birch bark
Tucked under a red-tinted rock
Dec 01
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