Two Poems by Geri Rosenzweig


Blessing the Knife on New Year's Eve

May it be our tool, not the other way round.
May we keep it on the highest shelf, may our children
know nothing of its ways, and may we
never sharpen its edge on the black stones of fear.

In the coming and going of our hands
let the blade always be pointed at the floor,
and let our work be blessed with care
as we carve open the meat for our meal
while the weather this New Year's Eve
counts its zeros among the limbs of a bird
holding on in the flayed garden.

Let us light the fire afterwards, for the one
who split the logs, for the blade of the axe that was faithful
to the lovely down swing of his shoulder.
Light it for the two of us, curled together,
quiet as two spoons in the firelight.



God is Not Talking

The rabbis keep the light bulb of commentary
burning on what happened, or did not happen.
God is not talking, nor is the angel of the Lord.
The knife lies camouflaged among the stones,
thought he thicket still shivers in the wind
and young rams climb the trail to nuzzle
shoots plump with dew; their mothers bleat
warnings from distant ledges as Sarah waits out
the slow afternoon on a dusty plain, shading
her eyes with one arm, cradling a bowl of milk in the other.

Ask Sarah about fathers and their sons
and the knife that is between them, cautious
as a jaguar slipping down the water at dusk,
tense as the angel's breath on Abraham's cheek.



Geri Rosenzweig's poems have appeared in publications such as Nimrod, Poetry International, Verse, The Nebraska Review, Poet Lore, River City, The Greensboro Review, Sulphur River Literary Review,, Christian Science Monitor, Kalliope and elsewhere.

The above poems are taken from Geri Rosenzweig's new chapbook, God is Not Talking
by Pudding House Publications:

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