SEVEN REASONS (PSALM 147)
You rebuild your city with our hands
and gather our scattered sparks.
You darn the heels of our hearts
and comfort us with bandages.
You smear sunrise across the heavens
like raspberry jam
and coax every blade of grass
to emerge from the dark comfort of soil.
And you love our fragility
not our particle physics
nor the bridges we labored to plant
across the inlets your glaciers carved.
You lay down ice like glass
and frost like lace on our windowpanes
and then you breathe a January thaw
and our frozen places melt.
This creative rendering of psalm 147 owes much to zen abbot Norman Fischer's interpretive translations of psalms. Though I intentionally didn't look at his book before working on this poem, his work has had a profound impact on my approach to the psalms -- including this one, which is part of the daily liturgy. (I've written more about that at Velveteen Rabbi; you can read that analysis here if you're interested.)