Almost Tisha b'Av

Longing, Exit 16

Turn here
if your heart aches

if someone you love
is out of reach

if a beloved
is suffering

and you wish
more than anything --

Turn here
if you've wanted

what you didn't have
or couldn't have

if love overflows
like an open faucet

if yearning is as close
as you get to whole.



On the highway recently I saw one of those standard blue signs which reads "Lodging" and then the exit number. Out of the corner of my eye I mis-read it for a moment, and thought it said "Longing, Exit 16." Then I thought: wow, I want to use that as the title for a poem.

So I did.