Bible Students In The Sukkah—by Barbara D. Holender

Bible Students In The Sukkah
Barbara D. Holender

What does it matter
that we are forever looking things up
and forgetting them?
Our minds are like the sukkah:
crowned with evergreen
open to the stars and winds
hung with our best fruits
and reconstructed each year.

The pine boughs shake down sun,
the leaves of our books cast up light,
and all our ancestors
cluster around us, saying
This is who we were
and this is what we did
and this is what it meant.

So it must have been in Pumbedita
in ample Babylon
where our Talmudic fathers
from every jot and tittle
extracted meanings
and over golden dates and wine
discoursed on the family tree

and one always had a story
and one always said, Be serious.