Since 1999 I have served as Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Olam. B’nai Olam is a unique and special congregation in Fire Island Pines, a beautiful summer community on Fire Island, a barrier island off the Coast of Long Island, which meets only for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. In 2007 I began writing a new poem every year for Rosh HaShanah. Here is the second one, from 2008. Shanah tovah u’metukah.
Rosh HaShanah in the Pines, Fire Island 2
decks are bare,
houses closed up until next summer.
Torsos are covered,
tattoos and piercings remaining undisplayed
until the cycle repeats itself next year.
Geraniums are gone,
eaten by deer weeks ago,
leaving gray-weathered boards
brightened only by blue tarps
of now-covered pools.
rooted deeply in sand
offer occasional shelter
from the scouring late-September gusts.
The sea laps a lullaby against the shore.
Holy days arrive amidst autumn’s pumpkin
and apple harvest.
We make our own stark beauty
on this strip of sand
cleansing our souls in this pared down paradise.
Late this year, but never too late.
Copyright © 2009 Hara E. Person