Friday, April 22, 2016

The Pass-over

The Pass-over

I walk through the sands of time
beneath my feet slipping through
my fingertips – feel the gritty soft-
sepia – I sing four questions to my
grandfather keeping the trembling
desire for perfection away from joy
in his shining eyes – I walk the sands
of time with them in small books in
the hands of elders reading, - those -
patriarchs and matriarchs and
children of long ago stir in our
very blood and sit for a time at
our table among the fine linen
and dishes piled high with food
cooked with love and laughter
together in the scrubbed kitchen
I walk through the sands of time
my actual elders retelling the story
as I watch the crystal glass sparkle-
filled with sweet crimson wine set
aside – peek - feel the breeze of the
front door ajar – in welcome for
the possible entrance of an angel –
I walk the sands of time – as some
slip under –foot-prints vanish into
hearts – I walk the sands of time
teaching tiny hands to hold a small
book, cut meat for a parchment elder -
listen to the mystical miraculous
music of my own son sing in a high
clear voice the questions that I
answer – I watch the table shift
again –new family constellations
bright eyed well loved welcomed
children and love and laughter -
and the same questions asked -
and answered and crystal clinks
and laughtered songs and sand
slips and shifts and slips and shifts
the glimmer of the sepia shimmer
always moving all in the past un-
known but retold - pharaohs and infanticide
plagues and pyramids, parting seas and sacred
bushes - leaders, legends and legacy
injustice and resilience- exodus tumbling-
to tablets, smashed, castigated and
contrite, connected, walking through
sands of time the richness embraced the
walk continued - tasted again and again
in caves of inquisition -in the tortured
camps of death - the sands of time 
sifted shifted into the dance of a land,
into this land, onto these privileged lips -
through the sands of time
the legacy sweet as sipped wine…
unbreakable - unshakable - 
I walk the sands of time 
tonight at a table for 
two –
hundreds of hundreds of thousands -
walking through shifting sand in-
to a promise....
the walk


  1. Pearl this is an amazing history retold so we don't forget....

    'the hundreds of hundreds of thousands -
    walking through shifting sand in-
    to a promise....
    the walk

  2. This is a very moving and meditative poem, Pearl. You have condensed a lot of history, have expressed a lot of faith. And yes, the walk continues.

  3. This is a gorgeous story retold.. I love how you fill it with details that gradually transforms it from a reality to myth and back again.. just like a archaeological excavation

  4. I love the presence in this poem of loved relatives around the table, along with the memories of those who have passed over. Love "footsteps vanishing into hearts." You describe it so vividly I can hear the silverware clinking. Beautiful, Pearl.

  5. This reads like an epic tale....the sweeping vastness of those sands of time....the continuity that it covers....the telling of history, personal and collective, intertwined in the sands of time. So lovely.

  6. This is so stunningly beautiful Pearl, as your words allowed me to take my own life's journey knowing that I am made up of so many parts.

  7. perfect thought for the prompt :)
    Good to see you around Napowrimo

  8. There is a comfort here - a sense of purpose which continues through time and generations.. a belated happy Passover to you