Mizmor L'David Anthology 

 

Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Donna Spruijt-Metz is a professor of psychology, was a professional flutist, was a rabbinical school candidate, and is always a poet.. She is a MacDowell Fellow. A recent chapbook is ‘And Haunt the World’ (with Flower Conroy, Ghost City Press)

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American Psalm
Donna Spruijt-Metz


after Psalm 91, line 9-16

 

It’s Friday—our date night. I will show up no matter how busy YOU are—I will retreat to my 

white couch, pull my small world in around me, warm blanket, good friends. I will do my best to 

be frank, and sometimes I will sense YOUR presence


OK, admittedly, YOUR presence and my ability to sense YOU—it’s a Venn diagram—YOUR 

oil is always slick, YOUR motor always runningmy mirror always stained—and us—always 

face to face


Oh slide and shimmy and danger—it’s a trust exercise. Turn around, fall backwards into the 

flurry of wings


into the mosh pit of trust—the task before me is not to rebel against YOUR protection

I tell myself: Don’t stumble—don’t look down—even though the pebbles along the path are 

colorful and smooth and tempting—


I tell myself: My task is to look YOU in YOUR true face with my true face—and tell YOU 

everything 


that I cannot tell myself—I will aspire to be merciless—and most Thursday nights I will fail—I 

will blink, look away, flinch—


YOU will give me a whole week to repair myself—time being one of YOUR strangest gifts—

and fiercest punishments


This will go on for years—


YOUR presence flickering in and out of me—a wayward filament—


For now—let’s have a drink. I’ll pour.




**** phrases in italics are from Wanda Coleman’s “American Sonnet 35.”