a celebration poem
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Procuring and Adjusting Holiday Garments
by KJ Hannah Greenberg


Young smiles in women’s bodies, my daughters,
Beg money for holiday outfits, hair ribbons, shoes.

While counting out paper and coin, I think how we hope for forgiveness, quick,
Complete, cost free, clemency for penchants developed from last year’s adornments;
Acting insouciantly, wronging many people, conjecturing gossip, a loud,
Daring to believe that denial might actually be fungible for bad behavior,
Inviting minimalization, its twin, rationalization, random sorts of blather.
Also, encouraging habituated busybodies to pull caricatures out of teapots,
Even as we forget to “hide” other strayings, more alternate spheres of accountability.

It’s funny, perhaps sad, folks can perceive gross errors as “simply” traffic accidents.
Truth, though, evidences our incomplete efforts at adopting excuses’ children.
Bad things, wound about imagination’s best costumes, remain choices not easily
Rectified, now or then. Notwithstanding, our spates of bowing, swaying, prostrating,
Moaning, crying, every disillusionment sticks. Not bolts, trusses, manmades save.
Of course, we can elect to delay, ‘til half way ‘round the year, all atonement.

Although sefirah’s small steps invite change, discern between fiction and verity,
Tweak us, fell juvenile understandings of timeless narrations, of adaptations,
We stay surprised when various gifts linger undeveloped, when hurt
Buds like almond blossoms, when life’s rigors prove exhausting. Discipline,
Heavenly help, more, are altogether needed for settling the uninhabitable.

Meanwhile, my daughters stand secure, absolved, released.
Unwrapping such articles as I could never choose.

Their holidays bound forward brightly, colorful, light-filled.
No lack of splendor detours those steps.

The girls’ mirrored credit, like new skirts, fresh blouses, matching socks,
Proliferates easily in their days, their nights, their dreams.

To such youth, fasting is as feasting is as festive dancing.
Celestial music sings them. They know peace.

Their futures strum with grace, with uncommon concord.
Specifically, they’re okay with offering amends.

This year, maybe, I, too, will get new garments. I’ll recognize silhouettes
Of trees at dusk, breeze, birds, sunshine. I’ll celebrate praying by quorum, sit outside
After services, accede to our leaders with wonder, smile at other women, say
“Thanks” more often. Perhaps it’s truly the case that my domicile’s perfect,
My life’s as it should be, except for my arrangement of flaws.

My moments, on balance, no matter their ilk, might in fact be integral.
My deeds, too, might illuminate. My tears could fill angels’ cups, could be brought
Before the grandest throne, measured, found acceptable,
Passable for a twelve month span. My words could be good testimony.
Maybe, this year, I’ll suffer none of the usual ripping before restoring.

A renewed maiden, I’ll know no incendiary rending before rebuilding,
No painfully rigorous scribbling out. My bad spots could just get jettisoned.

I finger dress fabric. My girls trust. They have confidence in good as good,
Plus that the Otherworldly Scribe is compassionate, merciful, kind.



a line, (a blue one)


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