THE BLOG

The Bush Is Always Burning: A Poem for the Week of Tiferet

04/25/2012 01:24 pm ET | Updated Jun 25, 2012

Whose gaze am I willing to meet?
     Certainly the azalea bushes,
     Ablaze in yellow and red.
Absolutely the cherry blossoms
Whose pink and white petals remain luminescent even as they fall.
And the lilacs give me no choice
Their scent reaches out
Even before I approach.

I turn aside to look.

But what about the man in the subway
Smelling of urine and weeks worth of grime?
Or the woman clutching her baby
In whose hand I place a one dollar bill?

I avert my gaze and turn away.

Today I inadvertently lifted my eyes
First I saw a red wheelchair
And pants tucked around half a leg.
Then my gaze met another
     He smiled a wide, knowing grin
     And gave me a thumbs up as he rolled himself by.

The bush is always burning
Will I turn aside and look?

Tiferet: Brokenness in Beauty
     The cracks of Divinity
     That allow for the light to shine through
A radiant glory permeates all creation
Will I risk the pain and joy of a broken heart
To turn aside and look?

For more on the Omer, join the conversation by visiting the Omer liveblog on HuffPost Religion, which features blogs, prayers, art and reflections for all 49 days of spiritual renewal between Passover and Shavuot.