Faithfully I arrived every Friday sunset
Entering the shaded synagogue
To sit on the cool ground
To feel the dust between my toes
To sing and listen and learn
Until an unfamiliar face
Quietly entered the dimly lit space,
Just as the Torah words were read:
“Remember you were slaves in Egypt
And that the Lord your God brought you out
With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.
Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you
To observe the Sabbath day.”
While I sat listening, he scanned the room,
His eyes settled on me,
A broken man with a crippled hand.
“Stand up in front of everyone,” he said.
Shaking and shroud in shame,
“Stretch out your hand.”
Slowly, my hand moved from behind my back
Into public view,
Into the lighted open,