Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Maya Green (she/her) is a student at Stanford University. She grew up in Everett, Washington where she and her family attended Temple Beth Or. Poetry inspires Maya to unravel and grapple with her Jewish identity, which she believes is a lifelong process.

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Pass Over
Maya Green

When Jews were called Hebrews and lived

in chains, they could paint

their doorways with ram’s blood

and the plague would

pass over. 

Each knowing their ally, though invisible,


And, holding sons to their chests,

they sat in the night of black uncertainty

to wait.

How long that night:

freezing, breathless

must have felt.

Three thousand years begets

another plague

as we, Jews,

sit in our house and blink 

away tears. Mourning in early April

the loss of a late sunrise.

Of tiredness, aloneness.

We prepare the seder plate:

A single egg that tastes like lost time.

And mortar, mourner.

Lick the cracks as they form

in your once-there dream

of freedom.

Bread, even comfort, refusing to rise.

There is too much empty time. The yeast

have given up.

My respective ceiling stares back as I forget

how to forgive. Barber

curls his rising lines around my heart 

and squeezes.

It is a death cry.

There is no ram’s blood

that will make this spirit pass


There is only

a leafy green promise


There is only

the steady, salty drip

of sunlight.

Urging us on.