Yom Kippur, Exile, Shara McCallum

Yom Kippur ends today 10/9. The Jewish holy day calls for a return of the exiles. The streets near my house are lined with exiles coming home to the synagogue. I am not a Jew, but the day gets to me. It’s such an important theme. Most of us are lost. Sometimes religious rituals help us find our way home. Here’s a poem by Shara McCallum, a Jamaican-born poet, that takes up the theme of exile, and some of my favorite images of birds and fish.

Exile

Say morning
       and a bird trills on a doorstep
               outside a kitchen.

Inside, fingers roll johnnycakes,
       dropping balls of dough into oil,
               splattering, singeing a wrist.

Here, a woman is always
       singing, each note tethering
               sound to meaning.

The trick is to wait
       on this doorstep forever
               The trick is to remember

time is a fish
        swimming through dark water.

Image result for shara mccallum

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