Birch Magazine

Poem

By Rachel Barenblat

Published January 12, 2011, issue of January 21, 2011.
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A typo transforms my cover letter
into one aimed at an editor at Birch

and I find myself wondering
what kind of articles they publish there.

Rebuttals of that famous Frost poem,
perhaps, from the point of view

of the trees getting swung upon.
Praise-songs penned on curled bark

and sent, ironed flat, via post.
Recipes for soda and syrup.

I imagine their mission statement:
giving voice to the thickets of saplings

rising slim and dark from snowy earth
heretofore considered silent, voiceless.

This would be their dormant period,
reading season, manuscripts considered

carefully before the spring rush
— that heady upswelling

of sweet inspiration — bursts forth
new pages that rattle in the wind.

I could offer something for their special
Tu B’Shvat issue, a birthday song

for homes and synagogues worldwide
where we’ll celebrate another ring

in every trunk, joining trees in traveling
from creation to essence, appearance

to ultimate reality,
holy roots to holy sky.
— Rachel Barenblat

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat is author of “70 Faces,” a collection of Torah poems (Phoenicia Publishing, 2011). She is a contributing editor at Zeek, a Jewish journal of thought and culture.


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