Sunday, October 01, 2017

Declaring Our Offenses

(Anonymous Photo)

—Nancy Haskett, Modesto, CA
She meant well,
I’m sure,
when she wished me a
“Happy Yom Kippur,”
just like she would wish
someone else
“Happy Easter,”
but this holy day
is one of somber introspection
as we reflect on the past year,
the hurt we have caused others
on purpose
or unknowingly,
as we pray all day,
stand up, sit down,
sit down, stand up,
hit our heart with a closed fist,
declare our offenses,
both individual and collective—
For the sin which we have committed before Thee
by association with impurity,
For the sin which we have committed before Thee
by idle gossip,
And for the sins which we have committed before Thee
by violence,

by spurning parents and teachers,
by lying,
with wanton looks and haughty eyes—
the list goes on,
as stomachs growl
for this is a fast day,
twenty-five hours of abstention
and deprivation to diminish bodily constraints,
uplift our souls,

but I can’t help watching the clock,
wishing the prayer book were shorter,
written all in English,
wishing I could sneak a drink
of water,
we are encouraged
to feel guilt on this,
the holiest day of the year,
and I do—

but often
for the wrong reasons


Our thanks to Modesto Poet Nancy Haskett for her meditation on Yom Kippur, which took place yesterday. We’ll have more of Nancy’s poems in the Kitchen next Friday, so stay tuned!

And don’t forget the film at the Crocker today (2pm) about the life and times of Sacramento (Rancho Murieta) Poet Evan Myquest by filmmaker Susana Haifon. It’s short, so be on time, and it's free—and even metered parking is free down there on Sundays! Be there!