Kol Nidre

Jewish time lines up end-of-summer
Backyard barbecues and twilight lake swims
The new-notebook feeling of back-to-school
With the year-in-review month of Elul.

Like journalists we look back and assess it
Pay our debts, if we can, and make amends
Like spiritual accountants we do the tally
And like archers, we see where we’ve missed our marks.

“Inscribe us, God,” we pray.
It is to be written that we yearn
In the year-forward Book of Life
Before the gates of Heaven close.

And we shuttle, like time-travelers
Between past, future and now:
If we cannot keep the promises
We have yet to make
Forgive us, for our souls are struggling, pure
In our intentions, aspirations
Our worries and our hopes
It is in the work of hands and bodies
That our powers often fail.

For now, release our weariness
Let our regrets flow swift downstream
Help us turn with the leaves toward a shining
Autumn gold as bright as springtime sun.

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Kimberly Gladman Jackson is the author of Materfamilias (Tandeta Books, 2018) and Tesseract (Finishing Line Press, 2016).
You can connect with her on her website.

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