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

                                                            To dream. 

Every week

            Never seen

                        Never heard

                                    Never helped. 

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. 


“Yes, you.”

Shaking and shroud in shame,

            I stood. 

“Stretch out your hand.”

Slowly, my hand moved from behind my back

            Into public view,

                        Into the lighted open,