My Granddaughter’s Prayer Shawl – Howard Richard Debs

She will be thirteen in a mere two weeks;
bat mitzvah, a daughter of the covenant.
Today, I took her to select her gift,
she asked for a tallit. Frankly
I was surprised, but
more than happy to oblige,
hoping in years to come, when
she recites the blessing and puts it on
she will recall the time we spent together,
finding just the right one
for her to wear
in fulfilling the commandment
of the fringes meant to remind us
of all 613 mitzvot
we were given.

When wrapped in mine, I am
at peace, cloaked in safety
in that place and time as if
wrapped in the arms of
a loved one. For reasons
of her own she chose the
Joseph’s coat of many colors design,
for me, the lesson of the coat
is, that our life is what we make of it —
surely it is fitting.

Howard Richard Debs received a University of Colorado Poetry Prize at age 19. After spending the past fifty years in the field of communications, with recognitions including a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America, he has recently resumed his literary pursuits, and his latest work appears or is forthcoming in The Germ, Calliope, Big River Poetry Review, Jewish Currents, Poetica Magazine, Misfitmagazine, Star 82 Review, The Review Review, Belle Reve Literary Journal, Verse-Virtual, Dialogual, Sediments Literary-Arts Journal, Piecemeal Review, Remarkable Doorways Literary Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, Blue Bonnet Review, China Grove, I am Not A Silent Poet, among others, and On Being online in which appears his ekphrastic Holocaust poetry series “Terezin: Trilogy Of Names” and also in On Being online his essay “The Poetry of Bearing Witness” and Eclectica Magazine, in which his essay “Vindicating Holocaust Poetry” appears from which stems the work in progress, New Voices from Salvaged Words: An Anthology of Contemporary Holocaust Poetry and Essays. His work has been invited for consideration in the new Prayer book of the Rabbinical Assembly, and selected for final judges’ consideration for the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards for Poems on the Jewish Experience. Author listing Poets & Writers Directory
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