by Kae Bucher (Fresno, CA)
My daughter makes huts out of pretzels
while I chew on thoughts of yesterday
where we once wandered
(as fragile as seashells on desert sands)
and gathered manna
we eat bread and cake
under palmy fronds
or hard-boiled eggs
I chew on this in a hammock under a painted sky
which floats up and over
all tribes kept within Yah’s heart,
where an eruv nest holds eggs
about to bloom.
Since graduating from Fresno Pacific University, Kae Bucher has taught Creative Writing and Special Education. Her poetry appears in The Rappahannock Review and Awakened Voices Magazine and is also slated for publication in The Seventh Wave. Her first short story, “The Lost Names of Kaesong,” will appear in the upcoming edition of California’s Emerging Writers. You can read more of her poetry at www.bucketsonabarefootbeach.com.
by Jacqueline Jules (Arlington, VA)
Twelve scouts went into Canaan.
Ten saw giants too big to fight
while two saw grapes too big to carry.
“We are like grasshoppers in the land,”
the ten cried, “sure to be crushed.”
“Not true,” Joshua and Caleb argued.
Steadfast, they predicted victory
while the rest shrieked and mourned
imagined defeat. In the end,
only the two survived
to stand on promised land.
An instructive tale for me
as I consider the faith needed
to see grapes instead of giants
in the wilderness waiting ahead.
Jacqueline Jules is the author of many Jewish children’s books including Never Say a Mean Word Again, The Hardest Word, Once Upon a Shabbos, Sarah Laughs, and the forthcoming Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva. Visit her online at www.jacquelinejules.com
“Facing the Wilderness” appear in her poetry book, Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. It is reprinted here with permission of the author. For more about the book, visit Evening Street Press at http://eveningstreetpress.com/jacqueline-jules-2016.html