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Amen

My daughter will not go to sleep without “amen.”
It has become a habit.
She says the word if I forget.
We say together the shema,
And amin m’amin.
Sometimes we say it to the dog.
Sometimes we say it to the bear,
Or to the Eeyore toy — her favorite character,
Which worries me.
She must be learning to love gloom.
We believe, we believe absolutely
in the coming of the Moshiach — at least
we say so, leaning over the crib,
Her grip tightening the closer we dip toward sleep.
She makes me turn out the light, and close the door.
Her menagerie is lined up like a congregation,
As we close with our favorite hymn:
“How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”
I want to turn
At the threshold; still she keeps sleeping,
And waking, and we keep praying
our hopeful amens
Each and every day.

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