• Shana Ritter

Turnings

It is the last week of August and in the midst of first real heat wave we have had all summer my thoughts are turning to coming the new year. Next week will bring Rosh Hashanah and the days leading up to Yom Kippur.

I love the rituals of these holidays; the possibility of beginning anew, the chance to make amends, to finish things begun, to let go of things that never quite had their own end.

 September has always been the beginning for me, my birthday, back to school, the high holidays all rushing in as we move towards fall. 

ROSH HASHANAH

Apples and honey

dipped once, twice,

three times, we can make it a rhyme

make a dance with our hands

a movement of mouths and lips

to embrace sweetness.

Honey spilled on hair and fingertips

honey lingering thick

on our tongues

sweet and substantial

drained from work.

Honey, salt and bread

when you move to a new home,

honey and apples for a new year,

dip once and twice and three times

we submerge in the sticky sweetness,

lick it down to the core.

Later at dusk

we walk to the stream,

take a smooth stone

rub it round in our palms

and toss it to the current.

We empty our pockets

into water and air

setting the old year loose

honey still tasting in our mouths.

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