We prayed with our feet,”
Gramma said every year at Passover,
remembering her flight from Russia.
(Snow. Cold. Running in woods,
Romanian border. Run. Run. Run.)
Young spring has given the first violet hyacinths.
White lace drapes the table.
Our ancestors live as we read.
From the ruins of his bent-backed people
Moses came pleading.
Pharaoh’s eyes were brown and hard.
Moses came again. And again.
Pharaoh sat stiff on his throne, fanned by dark-haired women.
His eyes remained hard.
Followed plagues of hail, plagues of frogs, plagues of lice,
boils, contamination, blood, death.
These are the plagues of bondage,
These are the plagues of the human Spirit denied.
We dip our spoons in wine ten times,
each of us thinking silently of our own bondages.
“Let my people go,” says Moses to our heart.
We make wine spots on our plates,
The Red Sea opened its jaws,
The waters made a place for us.
Freedom urging like a war horse at its bit!
We passed through!
Now this is the day of the Spirit rising to her mountaintop,
Singing her freedom song,
Singing her joy.
We raise red wine to our lips
silent wings of hope
rising in our hearts.