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Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Marc Kaminsky is the author of eight books of poetry, including most  recently The Stones of Lifta. His poems and essays have appeared in  many magazines and anthologies, including The Manhattan Review, The  American Scholar, and Voices within the Ark: The Modern Jewish Poets.

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The Promise of Healing
Marc Kaminsky

Slowly, through repetition,

an earworm becomes lodged
in my neural pathways,
displacing the prayers
I've been learning to say
belatedly. Walking up
and down the three flights
of stairs in my home,
I hear a small voice
reciting the beneficent
effects of Trulicity.


Over time, more and
more of the TV commercial
comes through, until I
become anonymous
to myself, merely a vessel
through which the gospel
of this good medicine
passes, purged
of its ghastly side-effects,
which the voiceover
in the ad reels off
quickly. What ever happened
to the morning prayer
I'd just begun to get
into the habit of davening?


I loved how it ended
with the phrase rabbah
emunatekhah, Your faith-
fulness is great.
Not
my faith in God, but God's
faith in me is the act
of mercy for which I
thanked him on awakening.


This nearness to
the divinity
that sought me out
in my seventh decade
has been supplanted
by the promise of healing
that Trulicity offers.


Even as I gradually
feel the loss of working
memory, I fail to think
that Trulicity can hold
no meaning for me
because I don't have
type-2 diabetes. What
I do suffer from is
a sick soul, a frustrated
yearning for God


Who sometimes takes me
by surprise, a radiant
energy pours down
my spine and is gone


Who I call on
to sustain me, the living
God, Adonai, Hashem


You return like
a distant memory, or
a moment of peace
that effaces my desire
to behold God's face, or
the end of these long nights
of exile from sleep, or
like a beam of shining
darkness that eclipses
the void I stumble through,
a kind of homesickness
for the God my mother's
mother walked with
every day in green pastures
as a child in Besarabia.