Punica Granatum — A poem for Torah Portion Tetzaveh

And on its bottom hem you shall make pomegranates
Exodus 28:33

In our home, which will, soon
no longer be our home, we planted
Biblical fruits in all the available spaces.

The pomegranate is the only one
still with us. The poor almond tree
first a feast for the possums –

rarely allowing us a taste despite
its many blossoms, eventually fell over.
We never saw the possum after that.

I’d like to include the kumquat tree
but despite all my knowledge of the Torah
I can’t find it represented in the text.

Which leaves the pomegranate.
It thrives in our front yard and we
even manage to eat a few before

God’s creatures take the rest away.
It makes us feel like good Jews and
reminds us of the holy woman from

Fargo, North Dakota, who painted
two of the beauties in the middle of
our Chupah so we could stand under them

and proclaim our forever love.
We think the new house has a lemon tree
and we’re hoping that’s okay with the Lord.

We’re willing to sew whatever is
necessary into our garments
like they did at the beginning

when all the rules were written down.
Our sleeveless robes, our linen pants
covering the awkwardness of our flesh.

We’d like to get this right so
an ancient priest doesn’t have to
bear all the burden.

God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 25 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express” (Poems written in Japan – Ain’t Got No Press, August 2020) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.


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