November 2, 2023


To help a plant take root, my grandmother
always said the She’ma as she bedded it
in new soil
as did my mother, as do I
with tradition doing the job of faith.

When I dig up
the rosemary I started from a cutting,
it leaves white threads behind
and weaves them into its next home.
I could say
something about we Jews doing the same;
but I think more about the soil
the plant brings along, roots entwined
like fists.

Across an ocean, Grandmother
brought the Turkish rugs she planted
underfoot where I grew up, their threads wearing away
on our soles. I could talk
about the past clinging where we don’t see
and the way we cling to what’s lost
but you know all that.

What’s new is research, not speculation
or stories passed from one to another,
that plants grow stronger with the help
of vibrations from voices and music.
What we say does not matter,
only that we speak
in voices woven.

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A Journal of International Poetry
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