Poetry Advent Calendar Day 6

Today’s feature poem comes from Roger Nash’s 2016 collection Zigzags. This collection of poetry focuses on the paradoxes of life. True to form today’s poem “Kiddush and then Rain” is a fun mixture of juxtaposing imagery.



The Friday night blessing over wine
brims, in each cup that “runneth over,”
and pours down the street, lapping at everyone’s
door. It decants up the trees to refresh
a stuck cat named Elijah,

alias Oddball. It climbs fire-escapes
to the seamstress’s shop. She dresses quickly
in silver spoons and red velvet.
Then it sews a tear in her dress with its strong,
sung, double-stitched thread.

It knocks all the clocks from their mantelpieces
right through the town. Instead, it brings
clouds with no hour-hands
over the gardens, so the toes of our shoes shine
like big, black, skin-tight grapes.

The rain slits full sacks
of gold coins onto picnic-tables.
The coins spin and refuse to be counted.
In the Jewish cemetery, the paupers in their shrouds
dream that they dream that kopeks are falling.

The blessing has the voice of a fig-tree and of oranges.
It ripples outward like a breeze through the wheat-fields;
then drizzles hills with the neighing of well-watered
horses, who have planets and lost tailors
intertwined for safe-keeping in their dripping manes.


*“Kiddush”: blessings marking Sabbath in the home.

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