Yom Kippur 2006

 Drawing by Jane Sherry

Today, as Autumn burns the hills,

   is a good day

for atonement. I want to say

   I’m sorry,

and I will, to the salmon clouds

   shrouding the east

this morning, to the earth beneath

   the streets, to crows

on the wires I pass under, to those

   pigeons pecking scraps

outside the market’s sliding doors,

   to all the young ones,

creatures, humans, I say

   I’m sorry,

I can’t say it to the one great

   being all at once,

my own spirit’s too small, and I

   don’t believe

in any ancient image of a man-god

   anywhere at all.

Today, October beginning, baseball

   season over and

entering the playoffs, it’s Yom Kippur,

   and I’m sorry,

kids, for the endless blood-sport

   we call war,

sorry the shining chariots of our day

   still rumble along

the roaring highways dividing the wide

   stretches of crowded

flats of the poor’s houses, I’m digging

   change out of my pocket

for coffee, stepping into the market,

   and considering

the smallness of this whole world, this little

   miracle of the air

and ocean in light, of evolution,

   and love leading

to the making of young, who learn

   also to fight,

and I’m sorry, humbled, by my own nature,

   before the silent

answer of the sky possibly accepting

   my atonement,

not a prayer, not a hope,

   a wondering.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Jed A. Myers is a Seattle poet and musician whose writing has been published in various journals, posted on web sites, heard on radio, and performed, mostly by Jed, in an array of settings in the Pacific Northwest. He’s won several regional awards, and hosts a regular poetry gathering in his part of town. His loose network of collaborators, ArtsforHearts, puts on benefits in local spaces for a wide range of real life causes.

Visit Jed's Poetry Archive at Satya Center to read more of his poetry.

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