A Promised Land
How to keep the promise of a promised land?
Not only a name, a place, a flag.
It’s an end to wandering in the wilderness,
the wilderness inside ourselves.
It’s singing sweeter than scorpions.
It’s touching everywhere softer than snakes.
It’s not letting hyenas teach babies to howl.
It’s families trusting without cactus spines
coming from inside our skins.
No more sand blowing between kisses.
In a promised land we are not made in the desert’s image.
We do not think with rocks in our heads
or take counsel with storms.
A promised land is promised to us.
But we are also promised
and to keep that promise we must learn
not to become hungry prowling lions
but to look at each other with gathering awe
as if we had never seen another human
so close, so real.
Vinograd, Julia. 2014. A Promised Land. Tikkun 29(4): 72.