Another poem for Chanukah
The beating heart of music in Israel / Palestine

December Dialogue

There's some time this morning.
We could go to Target.

    We have plenty of Dora pull-ups.
    Why would we go to the mall today?
But they sell shiny decorations.
Maybe there's a Chanukah banner.

    We browsed that aisle last week.
    There weren't any banners then.
There might be one now! Or --
how about that hanging chanukiyyah?

    We don't need a chanukiyyah made of felt.
    And neither does the synagogue.
But our lone banner looks sad.
There ought to be more sparkle.

    Why the yearning for glitz and glitter?
    What are you really hungry for?
My glands hurt. It's dark so early.
I want to be swaddled, cuddled.
     I understand. I feel that way too.
     December's never easy.
I keep thinking: maybe more money,
more glamour, more presents...

    I think you mean more presence.
    And if it's the dark that's getting you --
It is. And the rain adds insult
to injury. Maybe I need a lamp.

    -- try lighting one thin candle.
    Then tomorrow, just one more.
But they're so tiny, flickering,
against the maelstrom, the juggernaut.

    That's what makes them real.
    Like a child's jam-smeared kiss.
Or a little voice saying
I love you mommy at bedtime.

    Or the faith that, against all odds,
    what's imperfect is enough.



One of the things I value about my spiritual practices, meditation among them, is that they offer me opportunities to pay attention to the thoughts and ideas and stories which pop up in my mind all the time. When I started paying attention to one of those trains of thought, responding to it with openness and curiosity to see where it would take me, the idea for this poem arose.

All responses welcome, as always.