The Counting: an Omer Poem

The Counting
by Yael Fischman

What does it mean for us,
Children of Diaspora
hands more accustomed to the click and whirr of the computer
than to the rhythm of plow and scythe
to talk of sheaves and barley harvests
as if they were our measure of time?
What does it mean to count up,
a hopeful expectation of fulfillment to come,
than to count down
to the certain cynicism of another day,
week following week of mundane offerings
which lack all hint sublime?
Children count up, saying,
“I’m almost seven!”
Some of us long to be forever 29…
Abraham was told to count the stars in the heavens
we number in sevens the weeks:
Forty-nine plus one day, but a moment in time.
Counting from conception to birth,
wondering will the harvest be brought?
This time will Abel’s offering and Cain’s be judged the same
and what, exactly, will it be worth?
Upward motion, we wave
our humble grain, saying
“See here! See here!”
Here we are again.


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