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March 18, 2020

The sun doesn’t appear

to know the angel of death

is lurking near, hissing quiet,

passing over (or not).

 

My lush daughter is

out walking the graveyard,

hosting a picnic with a friend

who is also alive. They will

 

roll their eyes and hope-

fully remain six feet apart,

six feet from all the bones and stories

under the grass. They might

 

smoke a little weed and

who would blame them. The world

smells like mud and used birthday candles.

After the sun disappears

 

the gothic church will

hold a flashlight under its chin

and mumble its ghost stories. Jesus

is locked up all safe inside, suspended

 

on his shiny cross, while

down by the river a thousand

little frogs begin to sing.


Posted 03/25/20
I've been thinking a lot about the ways we try to ward off bad things. Across time and cultures, we have amulets and rituals and images and prayers. My family is Jewish, and Passover is coming up. It's a holiday about family and overeating and cleaning and renewal but, ultimately, it's the celebration of that time the angel of death passed over. That's what this poem is about. I hope you have a good Passover.
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