Sh'ma: roundtable on Israel
Another word for sky

readwritepoem: Gematria


"Mother" is 66, like the highway
and "father" is 45, like
the records that used to spin
on the outdoor jukebox
while they danced under the moon.

"Child" is 36, double chai
for the two lives intertwined
in that act of creation.
"Worry" adds up to 99
varieties of fear on the wall.

"Faith" is 44, and so is
"hope," the prize tucked
at the bottom of Pandora's box.
"God" is 26, which sends
thrills up my spine

because in Hebrew, the tongue
where this code unrolled,
the letters of that most
unsayable name
add up the same way.

What meaning can we make
from the jumbled letters
of our DNA (3 and 1
and 20 and 7), the terms
they form as they combine?

If each word
in the unspooling scroll
of our lives could be
totalled, what would the sum
tell us about who we are?

This week over at readwritepoem, prompt #11 asks what equals metaphor plus math? Given that I just posted about gematria, the interpretive device which hinges on how Hebrew letters are also Hebrew numbers, I couldn't resist. Doing gematria in this way with English words is a bit of a stretch, but it was fun. Chai (חי) is the Hebrew word for "life;" it's also the number 18.

You can read the other poems submitted for this theme here, all week long.

Technorati tags: , , , , .