The wash of dawn across the sky
reveals your signature.
Cicadas drone your praise
through the honey-slow afternoon.
The angular windmills on the ridge
recite your name with every turn.
And I, who can barely focus on breath
without drifting into story:
what can I say to you,
author of wisteria and sorrel,
you who shaped these soft hills
with glaciers’ slow passage?
You fashioned me as a gong:
your presence reverberates.
Help me to open my lips
that I may sing your praise.
Rachel Barenblat was ordained as a rabbi in January of 2011, on the same day that her book 70 Faces — a collection of poems arising out of conversation with Torah — was published by Phoenicia Publishing. She holds an MFA from Bennington and is author of four previous chapbooks of poetry. Since 2003 she has blogged as the Velveteen Rabbi; she lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and their son, and serves Congregation Beth Israel as their rabbi.